Three floors of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSIA)’s Terminal 2 were evacuated on Saturday after the airport authorities were alerted by security agencies about a “bomb threat”. It was the second such call since the attack on the CRPF vehicle in Pulwama which killed 40 security personnel on February 14.
Airport authorities later said the threat was “non-specific” and no flight operations were disrupted as a result. Sources from the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said that as the airport was closed for maintenance on Saturday, no passengers were hassled because of the security measures taken following the “threat call”. A MIAL source said, “Between 11 am and 11.20 am, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security informed the Mumbai airport authorities about the threat call, which warned that within 12 hours a bomb would explode at international Terminal-2.”
An airport spokesperson said, “The Bomb Threat Assessment Committee was convened to assess the threat call and it was declared non-specific. However, the committee decided to evacuate Terminal 2 Level 4 Pre H A, airline offices L3 and meters and greeters area L2.”
A senior officer of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) told The Indian Express, “Around 11.30 am, we received the message and, taking precautionary measures, we evacuated more than 75 to 80 airport staff from Terminal 2. After the premises were inspected, they all went back to their offices around 2.30 pm.”
In January, the MIAL had notified that there will be no flight movements at the Mumbai airport between 11 am and 5 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from February 7 to March 30. Senior airport officials had said more than 230 daily flights would be cancelled as the airport would remain closed for six hours a day over 22 days. The closure was to allow the airport to re-carpet the intersections of its two runways.
A senior CISF officer said “the threat call would have done more damage if the airport was not closed”.