MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Stranded passengers await resolution after Air India Flight's unexpected diversion to Russia.

A mechanical issue caused an Air India flight en route from New Delhi to San Francisco to make an unscheduled stop in Magadan, Russia. The Boeing 777 aircraft, carrying 216 passengers and 16 crew, was compelled to land after experiencing an issue with one of its GE Aerospace engines.

The emergency landing, close to the Sea of Okhotsk, is sparking concerns over how Russian officials will respond, particularly considering the plane's American-built components and the potential presence of passengers from countries with strained relations with Russia.

The U.S. Department of State stated it could not verify whether there were any U.S. citizens onboard, though it is monitoring the situation closely. Air India announced plans to dispatch a substitute aircraft to transport the stranded passengers to their final destination in San Francisco.

In its statement, the airline reassured that authorities were fully cooperating to ensure passenger safety and prompt arrival at the destination. The flight, numbered AI173, safely landed at Magadan airport following the engine problem.

Questions are arising about whether Boeing or GE engineers, both American companies, will be allowed to enter Russia to service the aircraft due to the existing U.S. sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

This incident occurred just a day after United Airlines' CEO, Scott Kirby, expressed his concern at the Iata annual meeting about the risks of flights carrying U.S. citizens passing over Russia.

Meanwhile, Andrew Charlton, a Geneva-based aerospace analyst, noted that carriers from countries neutral in the Ukraine conflict, including China and Turkey, were still flying over Russia, like Air India.

Sanctions have restricted the availability of aircraft parts in Russia, forcing the use of salvaged parts from old aircraft, which could lead to questions about their origin and invalidate many international insurance contracts.

In response to the incident, GE Aerospace confirmed their awareness and stated they were assisting their customer to address the problem.