Bengaluru: Tension gripped among 160 passengers of the Air-Asia flight that arrived from Jaipur on Wednesday, when the ground staff spotted a letter of threat on the plane stating there was bomb planted on it. Flight number 15-1721 was bound to Goa from Bengaluru and was about to depart at 12.35 pm when the cleaning staff found a threatening letter inside the plane. The flight got delayed by nearly four hours.
The passengers were disembarked from the aircraft and the plane taken to isolation bay, checked thoroughly by the Bomb Detection & Disposal Squad (BDDS), but nothing was found. After around three hours, the plane was cleared for take-off by the BDDS, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (KIAB). The plane took off at 4:31 pm. While the airport sources confirmed the incident, P.S. Harsha, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) claimed it was a mock drill.
“Incoming flight I5 1721 (REG VT-JRT) from Jaipur-Bengaluru received a specific bomb threat on arrival at Bengaluru after all passengers deplaned. In-flight cabin crew spotted the bomb threat in the aircraft after landing. Aircraft was taken to isolation bay, checked thoroughly by BDDS and nothing was found. The aircraft was then cleared and released for normal operations. The security checks and clearing the aircraft resulted in rescheduling of the Bengaluru-Goa flight by around four hours. The agencies involved in handling the incident and assisting the clearance of the aircraft are BDDS, CISF and KIAB,” said an AirAsia spokesperson.
Meanwhile, the airport authorities said “In line with the airport’s constant commitment towards passenger safety and security and as prescribed by the guidelines laid out by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the aircraft and the baggage hold were thoroughly screened. KIAB in collaboration with CISF and State Police continues to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of all its passengers. All other flight operations continued to be normal. Heightened security alert, which was implemented for the Republic Day, will continues till January 30, as directed by BCAS.”