Bomb threat letter found on Air Asia plane to Goa

Bomb threat letter found on Air Asia plane to Goa

Hoax delays departure by four hours

Bomb threat letter found on Air Asia plane to Goa

A letter stating that a bomb had been planted in an Air Asia aircraft triggered panic among passengers at Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (KIAB) here on Wednesday afternoon.

Only after a thorough screening did the airport security heave a sigh of relief, but the search delayed the flight by four hours.

Landing from Jaipur in the morning, the Air Asia flight, I5-1721, was scheduled to take off to Goa at 12.35 pm. But the KIAB’s ground staff cleaning the aircraft found the letter inside the plane. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was immediately alerted.

Passengers checking into the flight were frisked and their baggage thoroughly checked.

Bomb disposal and dog squads then took over, subjecting the aircraft to a detailed search that lasted over three hours. The threat was subsequently declared a hoax and the aircraft cleared. The flight took off for Goa at 4.31 pm, airport sources said.

A KIAB statement said the CISF and the State police were taking all precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of all passengers. “All other flight operations continue to be normal. Heightened security alert, which was implemented for Republic Day, continues till January 30 as directed by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security,” informed a KIAB spokesperson.

An Air Asia release said the bomb threat letter was first spotted by the in-flight cabin crew after landing. “The aircraft was taken to the isolation bay, checked thoroughly by the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad and nothing was found,” the release said.

No case has been registered in the jurisdictional police station. Although a senior police official reportedly claimed it was a mock drill, Additional Commissioner of Police, West, Charan Reddy denied it.