A bomb threat by a 25-year-old woman passenger forced a Mumbai-bound flight to return to Kolkata and make an emergency landing, said an official on Sunday.
The AirAsia flight I5316, with 120 passengers on board, took off at 10.09 p.m. from the NSCBI Airport on Saturday but had to return after an inebriated Mohini Mondal threatened the crew member that an explosive tied to her body, which might explode any moment.
The message was conveyed to flight captain John Lewis by the crew and was later passed on to the Air Traffic Control (ATC). A full emergency alert was announced at the NSCBI airport at 11.01 p.m after the pilot sought ATC’s permission to return.
As per the standard operating protocol (SOP), a bomb threat assessment committee was formed and the plane was parked at the isolation bay at 11.46 p.m.
Mondal was off-loaded at 12.15 a.m. and taken into custody by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which guards the airport.
“No bomb or explosive was found on her person,” a top airport official told IANS. “One of the explanations for the way she behaved could be that she was drunk,” he said.
The flight was given flight clearance after a thorough search by security personnel and bomb experts. It was operated by another aircraft and was airborne at 3.20 a.m.