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Toy guns in luggage fox officials

There have been several incidents world over in the past when people have hijacked or tried to hijack aircraft using toy guns, writes Archis Mohan.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 03:05 IST

On Sunday night, a passenger of the British Airways' London-bound flight managed to take five toy rifles as cabin  luggage inside the aircraft.  Two of these rifles had laser beams installed in them.

These items are banned as cabin luggage under the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) guidelines.

"Fortunately, the passenger carrying these rifles was no terrorist. He probably was unaware of the security guidelines and had mistakenly checked these as cabin luggage," said an airline official.

It was the alert British Airways staff that spotted the rifles on board during a random check. Officials said such toy guns look little different from the real ones.

"There have been several incidents world over in the past when people have hijacked or tried to hijack aircraft using toy guns. In a crisis situation, no cabin crew will stop to check whether the gun is a real or a fake one," said a security official. To top it all, two of these toys had lasers.

The rifles were almost like the real thing. The passenger carrying them was put through routine questioning and was only let off after the airline officials were fully convinced that it was a mistake. They took the rifles in their custody.

The CISF, the agency responsible for security inside the airport has conceded that it was a security lapse. "We have instituted an inquiry," said Commandant JB Kaushik. Inside the Delhi Airport, huge signboards have been put up saying that toy guns cannot be taken as cabin luggage. Airline officials alleged that the bag containing the rifles did not even have security check tag.