Security officials at the Delhi airport were thrown into a tizzy when the pilot of a Kandahar-bound flight “mistakenly” pressed the ‘hijack button’ while the plane was about to take-off, sources were quoted as saying by PTI. It took about two hours for the “satisfactory” security checks after which the Ariana Afghan Airlines plane, with nine crew members and 124 passengers and an infant, took off.
PTI reported that the pressing of the hijack button had pushed all agencies concerned, including the anti-terror force National Security Guard (NSG), into action. However, there was no immediate official reaction in this regard.
NSG commandos and officials of other agencies swiftly responded to the situation and surrounded the aircraft, they said. The plane was cleared for take-off after a two-hour operation that created panic among passengers on board. The Delhi-Kandahar FG312 flight was scheduled to depart at 3.30 pm.
The plane, while taxiing for take-off, returned to the “isolation bay” presumably due to the pressing of the ‘hijack button’ by the crew, according to senior officials in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
One of the BCAS officials said the aircraft was cleared for departure on confirmation that it was an error by the captain. Secondary security checks were carried out and customs clearance of all passengers was taken before the flight was allowed to fly out.