Hijack scare at Delhi airport over, passengers deboard (Second Lead)

February 1st, 2009 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) An emergency landing at Delhi airport Sunday afternoon created a scare as the pilot reported suspected hijackers on board after a passenger’s misbehaviour, but the crisis blew over later in the evening.Security forces rushed to the Indira Gandhi International Airport after the pilot of an Indigo aircraft reported suspected hijackers on board, an official said.

Ramnik Singh, a passenger, said: “We have deboarded the plane, and are in the bus now.”

“The pilot said he suspected a hijacker on board and asked for priority landing. Later, he said there could be more (hijackers),” a top airport official told IANS.

“We allowed the plane to land on priority basis. The plane is parked in the Technical Area and is in isolation. All the anti-hijack measures are in place, but we don’t know whether the plane is hijacked or not,” added the official when he spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Indigo flight E-664 from Goa to Delhi landed at 5.30 p.m. and was directed to an isolated bay as quick reaction teams of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Delhi Police were rushed to the airport. The National Security Guard (NSG) were on the standby.

Airport officials said a passenger was possibly misbehaving, leading to the pilot’s alert, but they did not rule out it could be a mock security drill.

The drama, however, ended and the passengers were allowed to disembark around 8 p.m.

However, it was not immediately clear what was the security hurdle and how it was removed.

Earlier, Caren, a passenger, told repoerters on her mobile phone from inside the plane: “We don’t know if it is hijack or security drill. There is no activity inside the aircraft but there is a lot of movement outside the aircraft.”

“If it is a security drill, I will request such a thing never take place in future. It is a torture to passengers,” she added.

The airline in a written statement said every passenger on board was safe.

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