Bomb Scare Aboard Air India Flight, Man Arrested


Mumbai, Apr 30: Panic gripped Mumbai airport after an anonymous caller phoned Air India (AI) about the presence of a bomb under one of the seats of a flight on Wednesday afternoon. It eventually turned out to be a hoax call made by one of the passengers who had missed his flight.
Soon after the Air India Mumbai-Jaipur-Delhi flight, IC 611, took off from the city at 3.20 pm, the Delhi centre of the airline received a call from an anonymous caller saying that a bomb has been planted under one of the seats in the aircraft. Acting on the threat, the centre sent out a telex message to the AI duty manager with the caller's phone number. ``When the officials in Mumbai dialled the number, they found that it was ringing close by,'' said a security official. ``The passenger was eventually found standing outside the departure gate,'' he added.

In the meanwhile, anxiety gripped the passengers on board as they had to vacate the aircraft at Jaipur for a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) drill. ``Nothing was found during the drill and all passengers are safe,'' said an official.

Sources said that the passenger, 26-year-old Manoj Bansal, had called the airline to check the flight status around 2:45 pm. However, by the time he reached the airport, the flight had departed. Bansal demanded a refund but was denied as his was a non-refundable ticket. ``He had an altercation with the airline and security officials at the airport,'' said a security official. ``When nothing came out of the debate, he finally made the bomb threat call,'' he added.

Bansal called AI at 4 pm when the flight was already air-borne and was nearing Jaipur. Officials said that the security and emergency apparatus at Jaipur, too, was set on alert immediately after the threat.

Confirming the incident, an AI spokesperson said, ``The passenger had an altercation with our security and commercial staff at the airport. Before that he had already had an argument with the CISF guards. He had a ticket for the flight.''

Bansal has been handed over to the police for further interrogation.  


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Title: Bomb Scare Aboard Air India Flight, Man Arrested

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