Two days after a Jet Airways flight was delayed by nearly 10 hours, because of a bomb scare, the airline’s internal inquiry confirmed the hoax, but failed to identify the person behind it.
Minutes before it was scheduled to take off on Monday, a passenger on the Mumbai-Doha flight found a note, which said that a bomb had been planted on the flight, which would explode at 6am.
The plane was evacuated and a search was conducted, while the more than more than 100 passengers booked the flight had to spend the night at the airport.
When asked how the note went unnoticed by the cabin crew, an airline spokesperson said: “Cabin staff are trained to handle such situations however, it may have been possible that due to time lapse, the staff would have moved out of that area. We do not have staff deployed for taking care of each seat.”
Police officers told the Hindustan Times that after a thorough search, the airline was declared safe. The search operation lasted nearly 8 hours and the flight, originally scheduled for an 8.25pm departure on Monday, finally took off at 5.50am on Tuesday.
“The inspection was time consuming as the entire aircraft, every piece of passengers’ baggage and cargo was checked. But we did not find anything suspicious,” said Nitin Indurkar, senior police inspector, airport police station.
The police also interrogated airline staff on duty to get leads on the person behind the hoax, but did not get any substantial information, added Indurkar.
Very few people have official access to the aircraft cabin and the airport security agencies would be questioning the airline staff and the private company providing ground services to the airline.
“The staff cleaning the aircraft cabin should have seen the note,” a senior official with the Bureau of Civic Aviation Society said on condition of anonymity.