Turkish flight bomb scare: Minister says looking at all angles

Kolkata, July 7 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma on Tuesday assured the safety of passengers and cabin crew of the Turkish Airlines plane that made an emergency landing in Delhi following a bomb scare, saying the ministry was taking the issue “seriously” as per protocol.

“We are looking from all angles whether it is a hoax call. We take such calls seriously and, in 2-3 hours, we will be able to complete the frisking of luggage and then only we can tell,” Sharma told the media here.

An official said that flight TK0065 was on its way from Bangkok to Istanbul with 134 passengers onboard when someone saw a bomb threat written on a windowpane of the bathroom. Sources said the plane made the emergency landing around 1.40 p.m. at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport soon after directions from the Delhi ATC.

Sharma said the Delhi airport was prepared for the landing with emergency measures in place.

“Now frisking of luggage is going on and we are screening the passengers also to ascertain whether somebody played a mischief. We are in touch with Turkish Airlines also to find out the credentials of the passengers. We were prepared for everything,” he said.

All security agencies, including the National Security Guard (NSG) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), were placed on high alert.

A bomb disposal squad scanned the plane along with a dog squad. Senior officials of CISF and NSG officials held a meeting after the bomb scare.

“All passengers and cabin crew are safe. They are being kept in a safe place and are being questioned and screened to get information or history,” the minister said.

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