Kerala Police begins probe into 'hijack' episode

Kerala Police begins probe into 'hijack' episode

The Kerala Police began their probe into the 'hijack' episode at the airport here, following the arrival of the Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi Friday morning, diverted from Kochi.

Director General of Police K.S. Balasubramanian formed a team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police K.S. Vimal after receiving a complaint from the commander of the Air India Express flight W. Rupali that she was threatened by angry passengers.
Airport officials here have identified the six passengers who created trouble inside the aircraft.

The details of the six passengers have been noted by Kochi airport officials. The passengers were let off soon after they arrived at the terminal of Kochi airport last evening.

The probe would cover allegations that a few passengers had entered the cockpit of the aircraft.

Vimal confirmed to IANS that the probe had begun. "All aspects leading to this peculiar situation would be probed. We will ask the six passengers to come before us, besides the captain and the crew," Vimal said.

Rupali Friday gave her statement to police here.

Trouble started at 7 a.m. Friday when the flight landed at the capital city airport after being diverted from Kochi because of bad weather. Passengers were told they would have to travel by road to Kochi.

Annoyed, passengers protested as the distance by road between the two cities is nearly 220 km. The passengers' anger forced the woman pilot to send an alert to air traffic control, an official said.

When they heard that the pilot, whose duty hours were over, would leave the cockpit, passengers rushed to stop her.

Soon afterwards, the commander of the aircraft flashed a message across the country that the aircraft has been "hijacked". Authorities swung into action.

A team of officials from the director general of civil aviation has also arrived here to probe the incident.

Meanwhile Air India has announced that it too would investigate the matter.

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