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Passengers of India-based SpiceJet airline, flying from Dubai to Mumbai, had a lucky escape when the rear wheel of the flight burst upon takeoff at the Dubai International Airport yesterday.

The aircraft was in the air for about three hours in a bid to burn off fuel before landing safely at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai.

Vijay Nambiar, Country Head, SpiceJet, confirmed the incident and said the rear tyre on the right side of the flight got damaged upon take off and the flight had to be diverted to Al Maktoum International Airport.

“It was not an emergency situation. It was just one tyre that had burst. The other tyres were intact. The flight landed at DWC after a few hours, which was used to burn the fuel," he said.

There were about 180 passengers and six crew onboard the airline at the time of the incident.

The flight was originally scheduled to take off at 4:00am finally did take off after more than an hour’s delay at around 5:15am.

Passengers of the flight told  that they were not informed about the tyre burst but were told that the flight had diverted to Al Maktoum International Airport and would be landing there due to a technical fault.

“It finally did manage to land a little after 8am after almost flying for three hours,” said a passenger, Prabhakaran Kanathur.

Some passengers complained about lack of alternative arrangements on behalf of the airline, saying delayed passengers were offered breakfast only around 10.20am.

However, according to Nambiar, alternate arrangements were made for passengers, some of whom departed on other available flights the same day while arrangements are being made for the remaining passengers.

"Some of them are scheduled to travel today," he said.