An Air India flight with an unknown number of Americans onboard had to make an emergency landing in Russia on Tuesday, and this could very easily become an international crisis.
The 777 wide-body aircraft, bound from Delhi to San Francisco, landed in Russia's Far East on Tuesday, after being forced to divert due to trouble with one of its engines. Reuters reports that the plane's 216 passengers and 16 crew members were being offered "support on the ground and accommodated in local hotels for the night."
The exact airport and city where the plane landed have not been reported.
While it's not known how many Americans might have been onboard, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told Reuters that it was "likely" there were some.
"We are aware of a U.S.-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia and are continuing to monitor that situation closely," Patel said in a statement.
The emergency landing comes just a day after United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, speaking at an aviation conference in Istanbul, warned international carriers of the hazards of flying over Russian airspace.
"What's going to happen if an airline lands in Russia with some prominent U.S. citizens on board?" Kirby asked, per Reuters. "That is a potential crisis in the making. I think we should solve it before the crisis happens."
U.S. airlines have already been flying around Russian airspace, having been banned from flying over it since March 2022. Newly approved Chinese flights between China and the U.S. have also been routing around to avoid Russian airspace.
This is a developing story.
Top image: Law enforcement officers wait to board an Air India jetliner at John F. Kennedy International Airport after authorities determined that a suspicious passenger was aboard February 28, 2002 in New York City. The passenger was questioned by authorities in New York and later released. The plane, flying from London to New York, was followed by Canadian and American fighter jets on its way to New York. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)