There was a major security scare across several airports in the country, including the national capital, following a phone call from the US that 11 aircraft of private carrier IndiGo could be in the danger of being blown up.
Airline sources said the caller, who identified himself only as Smith from the US, said at least 11 flights of IndiGo, which were either ready for take off or had already departed from around 10 airports, were facing bomb threat from a woman flyer.
The threat was for flights emanating from major airports like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Srinagar, Vadodara, Guwahati, Goa and Kochi, sources said.
“As many as 11 IndiGo flights were grounded today after the airline’s call centre at Chennai recieved a message about bomb threat. The caller, who identified himself as one Smith from the US, said that a woman passenger allegedly belonging to the ISI of Pakistan was carrying a bomb and could blow up one of the aircraft,” a source said.
In a statement, IndiGo said its call centre at Chennai received a bomb threat call at 1113 hours and within minutes the security agencies were informed.
IndiGo said, “All our passengers are safe”.
According to sources, security agencies were carrying out extensive search on these planes across nine airports.
Soon after the call was made, the Bomb Threat Assessment Committees (BTAC) at different airports swung into action. The planes, which were mentioned by the caller, were isolated and subject to vigorous checks.
The 11 fligts are Vadodara-Delhi (6E 591), Kochi-Delhi (516), Delhi-Srinagar (853), Delhi-Chennai (443), Ahmedabad-Kolkata (135), Delhi-Mumbai (223), Chennai-Mumbai (612), Delhi-Goa (329), Guwahati-Delhi (571), Delhi-Ahmedabad (161) and Delhi-Vadodara (734).
“We are actively engaged in working very closely with the concerned agencies. We can assure you that our operations are safe…,” IndiGo said.
According to the airline, there are certain laid down procedures to be followed by the airlines, airports and other government authorities and “all such procedures were followed and are being followed”.
“We have commenced additional security measures as per our laid down procedures,” it added.
Yesterday, a call was received about bomb threat to five Jet Airways flights from Delhi, barely hours after the explosions at Brussels airport, but it turned out to be a hoax.