Jet Airways flight aborted after bomb scare
A passenger on board spotted a bomb threat scribbled on the flight safety brochure tucked behind the passenger seat
MUMBAI: A Kuwait-bound Jet Airways flight had to abort take-off at the last moment on Saturday night after a flier on board spotted a note warning of a bomb on the plane. The warning, however, turned out to be a hoax. A Jet Airways spokesperson confirmed the scare.
According to airport sources, the flight 9W 574 had barely begun taxing towards the runway when a passenger on board spotted a bomb threat scribbled on the flight safety brochure tucked behind the passenger seat. The passenger immediately reported the matter to the cabin crew.
According to standard operating procedure, the captain reported the scare to the air traffic control (ATC) tower, which then asked the cockpit crew to abort take-off and taxi the aircraft to an isolated parking bay.
“Jet Airways flight 9W 574 from Mumbai to Kuwait returned to the parking bay after push back at Mumbai airport
at 10.30 pm on November 28 owing to a security alert. All 159 guests and seven crew disembarked without any incident, and were taken to the airport terminal. After a thorough search by security agencies, the aircraft was cleared for onward journey. The flight departed for Kuwait at 04.20 am on November 29,” the spokesperson said.
The hoax call comes a day after the Thane police arrested a person from Madhya Pradesh for making a hoax call to an Air India call centre in Thane. The caller, a 20-yearold, claimed to be a member of the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s intelligence agency, and warned of a Kandahar-style hijack threat. When asked, he said that he had done it for fun, the police said.
All the dozen-odd threat calls recorded by the city airport this year were hoax calls. Worse, six were prank calls, said airport staff.
While some of these calls were made to airline call centres, a few of them comprised messages scribbled with lipstick on a toilet mirror or a Twitter prank, said airport officials. “A few terror alerts are issued by security agencies to gauge airport establishments’ reaction time to such an emergency. The procedures for alerts are broadly split between specific and nonspecific,” said a former offi cial with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).