Mumbai: Airport authorities on alert after two hoax calls in a day
Both calls stated that the Jet Airways flights, one coming from Jodhpur and other from Hong Kong to Mumbai, had a bomb on board
Two bomb threats made to the airport kept officials and intelligence agencies on their toes on Tuesday. Thankfully, both calls turned out to be hoaxes, and intelligence agencies are now trying to trace the source of these calls.
After both aircraft at Mumbai airport were cleared by the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, the calls were declared hoaxes. File pic
On September 30, a few minutes before Jet Airways 9W 316 from Jodhpur was expected to land, an intelligence agency received a bomb threat call from a Jodhpur number.
The information was passed to Mumbai’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Security officials from the airline, along with the CISF, began their Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Speaking to mid-day, Sandeep Joshi, deputy general manager of ATC, said, “In such situations, we inform the pilot and the flight is given a priority pass. A Bomb Threat Assessment Committee has been formed, which decides the level of the threat, based on the information received and the situation.”
At 3.40 pm, when the flight landed, the crew and passengers were asked to leave the plane and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) checked the aircraft. However, they did not find anything and the call was declared hoax.
Within five hours, airport security received another call, this time from Hong Kong’s airport authority. An official who was present at the time when the call was received, said, “Hong Kong railways received a call stating that a Jet Airways flight to India had a bomb on it.
They passed the information to their airport security, who, in turn, informed the airline’s security.” The information, however, was received two hours before flight 9W75 was expected to land in the city.
The Quick Reaction Team and other intelligence agencies repeated the same procedure after the flight landed at 11.35 pm. But, post-midnight, this call too turned out to be a hoax.
The official spokesperson of Jet Airways said, “Both threat calls were non-specific and of low criticality. Proper drills were conducted and the aircraft were cleared for their return journeys.”