A call by a flier at the Mumbai airport to the police control room asking for help as he and his co-passengers were stuck inside an Air India flight in a “hijack-like” situation had local police stations, the National Security Guard (NSG) and the airport’s anti-hijack cell all geared up on Tuesday.
It was no hijack though, just a weary passenger stuck inside the flight for five hours with no food or water, trying to get some attention.
“Mai Air India ke AI 130 flight me hoon. Mujhe our yahan bahut saare logon ko hijack kar liya gaya ho aisa situation mein rakha hein.. Please help. (I am in Air India flight AI 130. We have been inside the flight as if we have been hijacked),” were the caller’s words to the police control room around 8am on Tuesday.
Soon after, the control room made a series of calls alerting security agencies to brace themselves to handle the situation. “As soon as we received the call, all police personnel in neighbouring police stations were asked to get ready to handle any kind of situation,” said a senior crime branch officer. “We had even rushed to the spot with arms and other equipment.”
The officer said the flight landed at the airport from London around 3am and was on its way to Ahmedabad, but had developed a technical problem, delaying it.
The Air India spokesperson was unavailable for a comment when HT contacted the airline to find out about the nature of the snag.
“The passenger was angry as the flight was delayed and because he was not being served water or food. This made him call and ask the police control room for help. But while talking, he mentioned it was a hijack-like situation, which got us to move our assets to verify the credentials of the caller. The situation was brought under control quickly,” said Virendra Mishra, the deputy commissioner of police (Zone 8).