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Bomb alert! How Delhi airport security failed to detect ‘explosives’ in a bag

The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security conducted a drill at the Delhi airport in which a bag with parts of an explosive device passed undetected during the security check by CISF.

delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2017 14:32 IST
Faizan  Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi airport,Delhi security alert
During the drill at the Delhi airport, parts of an improvised explosive device were put in a hand bag without a detonator and carried on a flight to Jammu to test CISF officers. (HT FILE)

A bag with a ‘bomb’ has gone undetected through Delhi airport security checks. Luckily, it was only part of a drill to check arrangements at the airport — a test that the CISF personnel flunked.

The Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) conducted dummy checks at Delhi, Pune and few other airports over the past three months. In a drill conducted in April, CISF officials failed in the security drill.

Parts of an improvised explosive device were put in a hand bag without a detonator, and civil aviation officials made an easy entry to the Delhi airport with it. Security checks conducted on hand baggage for an Air India flight to Jammu also failed to detect the explosive.

It was only then that the CISF, which is responsible for airport security, was informed that it had failed the test. The CISF checks only hand baggage of passengers with the help of scanners after check-in.

“To ensure that security at airports is at its best and personnel are well aware, we keep conducting dummy checks to know the level of alertness. In April, a drill was conducted where components of improvised explosive device were kept in a bag by a BCAS official. The CISF missed it,” said a civil aviation official.

“We have prepared a report listing incidents where CISF failed to notice components of IED in the bag. We keep wires, some explosives and some other parts in bags,” the official said.

The CISF said they take action against the staff who fail to perform their duty, and give them security training so that they can identify suspicious objects during scanning.

Read: Ex-employee entered Delhi airport thrice with fake ID card, helped gold smugglers

“Though, we take action against our staff, the BCAS conduct dummy checks by keeping random items related with making a bomb. Sometimes, it is without a detonator, making it all the more difficult to detect. In some cases, we have even suspended the staff,” a CISF official said.

For better concentration, the CISF personnel also rotate baggage screener every hour.

“We have an in-built software through which we throw random images of bomb, knives and other prohibited items and if our staff fail to detect it, we take action against them. This also helps us keep them alert,” the official added.

First Published: Jul 13, 2017 12:27 IST