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Hijack drama unfolds at IGI, passengers upset

CNN-IBN
Feb 02, 2009 at 11:19am IST

New Delhi: It was an evening of high drama and anxiety at the Delhi airport. The pilot of the Goa-New Delhi Indigo flight sounded a distress call when the flight was over Jaipur.

The alert said three passengers were behaving aggressively and were threatening to hijack the plane. The pilot's message set off a chain reaction, prompting an emergency landing of the flight.

Airport security swung into action swiftly and the deployment of NSG as well as Delhi Police Quick Response teams took no time at all. The flight was anchored in isolation and a BSF (Border SEcurity Force) plane stood on standby as a high alert had been sounded.

Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambiar said, "The plane which made an emergency landing at 1729 hrs was taken to an isolated area. The CISF and the NSG cordoned off the area. After reviewing all aspects of the sitaution and satisfying itself that it was safe to disembark the passengers, a decision was taken to do so with all precautions in place, including screening of the alighting passengers."

"The Commander himself was announcing that it will take time, please have patience. But after an hour of waiting all passengers were hassled and some began calling home. They asked their relatives to check with airport security as to why the plane had not been allowed to disembark its passengers after even an hour of landing. Then the news began to trickle in and we guessed something was wrong," said a passenger.

On the ground, there was panic at the airport, where the relatives of 163 passengers on board counted minutes without getting any information.

"My son and daughter-in-law are in the plane and we have no details as to why the plane has been held back along withthe passengers. It has been two and a half hours since we are waiting," said a hassled relative.

"The plane has been taken to an isolated bay and the NSG men have advanced towards it iis all we know," said another.

The panic that lasted four hours ended as security forces secured the aircraft and detained three people. All the passengers were brought out safely and the NSG sounded an all clear.

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