A major accident was averted at Ahmedabad airport on Friday evening when a SpiceJet flight aborted taking off because an IndiGo aircraft delayed vacating the runway. The IndiGo flight was delayed on the landing strip because there were rabbits on the runway, reported PTI. The IndiGo flight had arrived from Bengaluru and the SpiceJet flight was preparing to leave for Delhi.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has initiated an investigation into the matter. IndiGo said that its Bengaluru-Ahmedabad flight had landed safely on Runway 23. “As 6E-166 was vacating the strip, the flight crew observed some rabbits and stopped the aircraft, its nose in the taxiway and tail still on the runway,” IndiGo said in the statement.

The SpiceJet flight had 142 passengers on board, but IndiGo has not yet revealed any details about its aircraft. “Once the IndiGo pilot confirmed to the Air Traffic Controller that the strip had been cleared, it allowed the SpiceJet flight 912 to take off... Seconds later, the controller noticed that the IndiGo flight had stopped on the exit taxi track with a portion of the aircraft still on the runway,” an official told PTI. He added that the Air Traffic Controller immediately advised SpiceJet “to hold position, forcing the pilot to abort take-off at the last minute”.

IndiGo and SpiceJet flights have had near misses before. On December 27, an IndiGo and SpiceJet aircraft came face to face on the runway at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, probaby because of miscommunication from the Air Traffic Control.