A bomb scare forced a Turkish Airlines plane, carrying 134 passengers, to make an emergency landing at the Delhi airport on Tuesday afternoon. The plane was on its way from Bangkok to Istanbul.
“At around 1.15 pm, airlines staff found a message scrawled in lipstick on a washroom mirror, which said ‘bomb in cargohold’. The staff then alerted the pilot who radioed the Nagpur Air Traffic Control (ATC) Room. The Nagpur ATC informed the Delhi ATC and the plane was asked to land at Delhi,” said officials of the Delhi Police.
When the ATC relayed the information to the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, an emergency was declared at the airport and all security agencies, including the National Security Guard, were alerted. Fire tenders, the Bomb Disposal Squad, NSG personnel and dog squads rushed to the runway.
“When the flight landed, it was taken to an Isolation Bay at the IGI Airport after all the passengers and the 13 crew members were evacuated,” police sources added. The NSG, along with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), cordoned off the plane. Officials of the Bomb Disposal Squad then inspected the aircraft. CISF Director General Surender Singh also briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation.
Sources said the lipstick used for writing the threat message was found during the search.
The Aviation Ministry sought details of the passengers on board the flight to ascertain whether the prank was played by one of them.
The plane took off at 10.30 pm on Tuesday after all the checks had been conducted.