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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Jet Airways hijack threat: Flyers unaware of drama during flight

Passenger says they knew something was amiss when flight landed hour earlier than scheduled time

india Updated: Oct 30, 2017 23:21 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A Jet Airways passenger aircraft takes off from the airport in Ahmedabad.
A Jet Airways passenger aircraft takes off from the airport in Ahmedabad. (Reuters FIle Photo)

Of the 115 passengers, who were on board the Jet Airways flight facing hijack threat, apart from Birju Kishore Salla, no one knew why the flight had landed an hour before the scheduled time. The next shock came in form of inflight announcement when the pilot informed that flight has landed in Ahmedabad instead of Delhi.

“We knew something was amiss as scheduled time of landing was 5am and flight landed at 3:50am. Most of the passengers were sleeping and woke up when the announcement was made. The pilot said due to security situation, we have landed in Ahmedabad. For the next 30-40 minutes we were inside the plane,” said a passenger who was on board Jet airways flight 9W 339.

Salla was in business class and was probably immediately identified as he was not in the two buses, in which passengers were asked to sit.

“Next half an hour we spent in bus. We had our cabin baggage and security team frisked us and checked our baggage. Around 6:30 am we were taken to the airport lounge,” the passenger added.

At the lounge, passengers were asked to fill two set of questionnaire.

“There was no panic as everyone was worried of reaching to the destination. At the VIP lounge we were given two set of paper and asked to fill it. In the first set, they asked about the basic details such as contact number, occupation and office address. In the second set, we have to fill passport details, resident address and when was the last time we flew out of India,” the passenger added.

The passenger said that by 8am the airline told them that everything is clear and they were asked to go to the check-in counter to collect fresh boarding pass.

The flight landed at 3:50am at Ahmedabad airport and by that time CISF DG OP Singh was informed. He was in touch with his counterparts in NSG and BCAS and the local authorities.

After landing the flight was taken to isolation bay and cordoned by the Quick Reaction Team of CISF.
The passengers were frisked by CISF and they hand baggage was screened again at the tarmac itself.

Aircraft was also checked with the help of bomb disposal squad and dog squad and was declared safe. Airline engineering and security staff also santitised the plane.

After this, check-in bag of the passengers was also offloaded and checked for explosives.

Apart from the one passenger, who was detained, rest taken to airport lounge and flight departed with them at 10:30 am and landed at Delhi at 12 noon.

First Published: Oct 30, 2017 23:20 IST

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