Security agencies, including the National Security Guard (NSG), went into a tizzy at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport after the pilot of a Kandahar-bound flight mistakenly pressed the hijack alert button when the plane was readying for take-off on Saturday afternoon.
However, within minutes, the chief security officer of the flight informed all agencies concerned that the button had been pressed mistakenly. The plane was cleared for departure only after two hours — once the security agencies gave a clearance after thoroughly checking the flight.
Police said the incident took place around 3.30 pm, when the pilot of an Ariana Afghan Airlines flight heading from Delhi to Kandahar sent out a hijack alert. “Security agencies rushed towards the plane and it was cordoned off and stopped from taking off. The captain, meanwhile, clarified that the alarm had been set off by mistake,” a senior police officer said.
NSG commandos and officials from other security agencies immediately responded to the situation and guided the aircraft towards the isolation bay. “The flight had 124 passengers, including a baby, and nine crew members. After a two-hour operation that led to some panic among passengers on board the aircraft, the plane was cleared for take-off, following satisfactory security checks. Initial investigation revealed that the pilot was telling the co-pilot about the procedure to follow in case of a security alert, when the alarm was accidentally pressed and an alert went out to the air traffic control (ATC),” the officer added.