Mumbai, May 21 -- An Emirates flight from Dubai struck a flock of flamingos, resulting in the death of around 40 birds in Mumbai, an official said on Tuesday.

The aircraft was also damaged in the incident on Monday night and, as a result, the return flight EK509 scheduled to depart to Dubai Monday night was cancelled, the spokesperson said in a statement. All passengers and crew were accommodated overnight and a replacement aircraft is being arranged for all passengers, Emirates said. The flight is scheduled to depart Mumbai on Tuesday night, the airline added. "Emirates apologises for any inconvenience caused. The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance and will not be compromised," the airline said. The bird strike, which happened closer to Laxmi Nagar in Ghatkopar East, claimed the lives of at least 36 flamingos, a forest official said.

Environmental activists demanded a probe by DGCA, claiming urban planners had ignored warnings about such incidents. While a police official said the birds were hit by the aircraft before it landed, Emirates said its aircraft was involved in the bird strike incident upon landing. Stray dogs scavenged a few birds after they fell on the ground and some body parts were also spotted by locals, said Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden with the forest department.

Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Millennium Post.