Three bomb threats delay flights in Delhi, Bengaluru

Three bomb threats delay flights in Delhi, Bengaluru

Mischief-mongers had a field day on Wednesday with back-to-back calls threatening to blow up two aircraft held around 240 Kathmandu-bound fliers of Air India and Jet Airways at Delhi airport for seven hours.

There was fortunately no bomb or explosives in the two aircraft but when Air India passengers boarded a separate plane to fly to Kathmandu after security clearance at around 5 pm, there was another threat call, resulting in further delay.

Elsewhere, an AirAsia India flight from Bengaluru to Goa was also delayed by four hours after the crew of its Jaipur-Bengaluru flight “spotted bomb threat letter in the aircraft after landing” at the Kempegowda airport in the Karnataka capital but a search did not yield anything.

In Delhi, all started with Jet Airways security office at Indira Gandhi International airport receiving an anonymous call, saying there was a “bomb threat” to Air India flight AI-215 and Jet Airways flight 9W 260. Air India was to take off at 1:10 pm with 121 passengers besides crew while Jet was to fly at 1:25 pm with 122 passengers and seven crew members. Soon after the call was received, the aircraft was halted and security officials took over.

Both the aircraft were taken to the bay area, passengers deboarded and security personnel started screening baggage as well searching the aircraft.

Air India decided to operate with another aircraft as security clearance for the aircraft was taking time and announced at 5 pm the departure of these passengers 30 minutes later. However, the take off did not happen as a second threat call was made.

"DEL-KTM (Delhi-Kathmandu) has been further delayed due to a fresh threat call and will take off only after security clearances," Air India tweeted at 6:13 pm. The security checks continued and the aircraft finally took off at 7:50 pm after clearance. “DEL-KTM, which was delayed due to bomb threat, took off at 7:50 pm, with a change in aircraft after security clearances,” Air India tweeted.

The Jet Airways flight took off at 8 pm. In a statement earlier in the day, Jet Airways said, its “flight 9W 260, scheduled to depart from Delhi for Kathmandu at 1:25 pm, has been delayed due to a security alert. All 122 guests and 7 crew have been taken to the departures waiting area at the airport”.

The caller identified himself as Hafiz Azad from Istanbul. He said the bombs were kept in laptops.

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