Bomb hoax delays flight, hunt for Army officer’s spouse

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A bomb alert call, which was later declared a hoax, delayed an IndiGo flight bound to Patna on Tuesday morning at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Police said the call was made by a passenger who wished to delay the flight as he was late in reaching the airport. The flight, which was scheduled to take off at 12.30 pm, was delayed for over three hours. The passenger is absconding.

According to police, the caller has been identified as the spouse of an Army officer in Danapur, near Patna.

Police said Pramod called the Delhi Police Control Room at 12.05 pm from his cellphone, informing them that there was a bomb on board the Patna-bound IndiGo aircraft, 6E 148.

A high alert was sounded at the airport and security agencies immediately swung into action.

A bomb threat assessment committee meeting was convened and the threat was declared to be specific, police sources said.

Officers of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Delhi Police and security staff of IndiGo Airlines rushed to the airport.

The 138 passengers on board were deplaned along with their baggage. Sniffer dogs were brought in and at the end of the operation, which lasted a few hours, the call was declared to be a hoax. The flight finally took off for Patna at 3.30 pm.

DCP (Airport) J S Deswal said, "The call was a hoax. The caller has been identified. He is presently absconding."

Police said Pramod had booked the ticket on the Internet and had also provided his mobile number at the time of booking. He booked his flight in the concessional quota as his wife works for the Army near Patna.

Sources said Pramod had gone to Sonepat two days ago reportedly to look for a job.

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