Kingfisher explosive stowed in cabin baggage | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kingfisher explosive stowed in cabin baggage

The explosives recovered inside the Kingfisher airliner on Sunday might have been smuggled in using a trick similar to the one used by the "Christmas bomber" in the US.

delhi Updated: Mar 23, 2010 01:03 IST
Tushar Srivastava

The explosives recovered inside the Kingfisher airliner on Sunday might have been smuggled in using a trick similar to the one used by the "Christmas bomber" in the US.

Officials investigating the Kingfisher security breach suspect that the culprit could have hidden the explosives inside his underpants, just like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had done during a failed attempt to blow up a US-bound jetliner from Amsterdam on Christmas day.

And what has thrown the security establishment into a tizzy is the revelation that the explosive material was recovered from the cabin and not from the cargo hold of the plane.

Sources have told HT that the explosive material was found near the cabin area. "The most probable conclusion that can be drawn is that a passenger carried the explosive during boarding though we don't rule out theories like the involvement of ground staff. Recovery from the cabin means that the person went through all security checks, which include x-ray screening of the handbag, passing through the metal detectors and frisking," an official said on condition of anonymity.

Investigators believe that the suspect might have placed the packet while going to or coming out of the toilet.

The explosive included some powder - suspected to be nitrate, containing traces of sulphur, ammonium and potassium chlorate. Some aluminium foils too have been recovered. The exact nature of the explosive would be ascertained only after the forensic report is out.

Sources from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) - the regulatory authority for civil aviation security in India -said the bureau has decided to come up with revised guidelines for security checks, likely to be issued in the next couple of days.

The guidelines would be a reiteration of security instructions issued in 2005. Airports would be asked to enforce stringent implementation of the directives and "pat-downs" and manual checking of handbags would be made compulsory.

With inputs from Salil Mekaad