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Hijack hoax tests airport response

delhi Updated: Jul 31, 2007 03:25 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times
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A high alert was sounded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) after the Air Traffic Control (ATC) room received a call that a “plane has been hijacked” on Monday morning, part of a mock drill.

Airport officials said that it was a mock drill conducted by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to check the preparedness of the airport authorities to deal with emergencies.

The ATC received a call around 10.30 a.m. that an East Air plane coming from Varanasi had been hijacked with 155 passengers on board.

Airport officials said that it was part of the mandatory drill of the BCAS to check the preparedness of CISF, fire, airport officials and other departments.

As soon as the ATC received the call, all security men were pressed into service. “CISF, police, fire service and ambulance and various other ground staff responsible for security at the airport swung into action,” said an airport official.

The exercise continued for about an hour.

A panic situation was also created among the passengers at the airport.

According to senior officials, only few officers had prior information about the drill. According to sources, officers at the airport even had a meeting on how to conduct negotiations with the hijackers.

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