Hoax bomb threat at Mumbai airport creates panic, delays flight
Hoax bomb threat at Mumbai airport creates panic, delays flightUpdated: Dec 16, 2018 00:38 IST
A Delhi-bound Indigo flight from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) was delayed by more than two hours on Saturday morning after a hoax bomb threat was reported by a 41-year-old passenger.
Flight 6E 3612 (Mumbai-Delhi-Lucknow), carrying 169 passengers, that was scheduled to depart at 6.05am, was declared safe at 7.40am after which it took off at 8.50am.
Airport officials said Uma Narayan Kannadasan, a Singapore national of Indian origin, approached the Indigo airline staff in the check-in area saying there is a bomb in 6E 3612 around 4.40am. According to airport officials, she was flying to Delhi with GoAir. “The passenger is a professor and was in the city to attend a summit. She showed some photographs of people and claimed that they are a threat to the nation and have placed a bomb on the flight,” said an airport official.
However, the IndiGo spokesperson said the airline reported the matter to the concerned authorities and that Kannadasan was found to be in a mentally unsound state. “This morning a passenger travelling with another private carrier told our staff at Mumbai airport that there could be a bomb on Mumbai-Delhi flight 6E 3612. IndiGo reported the matter to the concerned authorities and followed the normal security protocol. The passenger was found to be in a mentally unsound state. The flight was delayed,” said the spokesperson.
After IndiGo informed the airport security officials and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the passenger was taken to the Airport Police station. The police said Kannadasan had been searching random pictures on the Internet and showing them to the police and has been changing her statement constantly.
They are waiting for the woman’s husband to arrive from Delhi for further information. “The passenger’s statement has been fluctuating and she appears to be mentally unsound. However, she does not have any documents showing any medical condition,” said an officer.
As per the standard operating procedure (SOP), a bomb threat assessment committee (BTAC) was formed after the complaint, who inspected gravity of the threat intimation and declared it ‘specific’— meaning it was not a random threat and was to be taken seriously. All the necessary checks were conducted on the aircraft by the bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS), a wing of the CISF. The aircraft was declared safe for operations. The Airport police said they have booked Kannadasan. “We have registered a case against the passenger under section 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Alka Mandvi, senior inspector.
(with inputs from Aritra Hazra)