New Delhi: Two flights bound for Nepal and Bhubaneswar were on Thursday grounded just before taking off after security agencies were alerted of a bomb threat call on the two airliners at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi.
Officials said passengers on board the two aircraft-- Royal Nepal Airlines (Delhi-Kathmandu) and Air India (Delhi-Bhubaneswar-- were evacuated and taken to the isolation bay where security agencies carried out anti-sabotage checks after a threat call was received by the airport control room at about 10 am.
While the Kathmandu flight (RA-206) had 155 passengers and nine crew members, the flight bound for Odisha's capital Bhubaneswar (AI-075) had 178 fliers and seven crew members. Passengers of both the flights and their baggage were subjected to a second round of checking with the Bomb Threat Assessment Committee (BTAC) at the IGIA monitoring the situation.
Security personnel from the CISF and Delhi Police cordoned off the two planes along with bomb disposal squads, the officials said. They added the threat was triggered after the airport control room received a call from a person identifying himself as Abhishek Singh, a 'CBI officer' and said that while there is a 'time bomb' in the Nepal bound flight, some 'movement' has happned at the terminal area to hit the AI flight.
Officials said the agencies are trying to track the number and location from where the call was made to the airport call centre. Anti-sabotage checks are on at the two aircrafts, they said.
Preliminary reports said four Members of Parliament were to travel on the AI flight.
Talking about the menace of hoax calls, Central Industrial Security Force chief Surender Singh had said while 44 such calls were received last year at various airports the force is deployed, 16 such calls have been made till early March this year.