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March 23, 2010

All airports on high alert following Kingfisher flight bomb scare

     New Delhi: Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday said that all airports across the country have been put on high alert following the planting of a country-made bomb inside a Kingfisher plane at Thiruvananthapuram, flight IT-4731, coming from Bangalore, on Sunday morning. Addressing the media, Patel said the security was being tightened across all the airports in the country to avoid any untoward incident. "The government has taken the Kingfisher bomb case issue seriously and are probing the same," said Patel. Patel further said, "Airports are usually and always in a state of high alert. But in view of the recent incident, the Bureau of Civil Aviation has further heightened security across all the airports in the country. Security will not be compromised at all." "The bomb scare that occurred on Sunday has been taken seriously. Investigations have been ordered and we consider it as a major breach of security, therefore every possible action to unearth the cause will be undertaken," he added. On the government's stand to implement body scanners in airports, Patel said, "Body scanners will be used on a trial basis at the IGI in July. We will have to ensure that there is no violation of privacy of any passenger." "We will have to ensure that there is no violation of privacy of any passenger. There are some concerns raised in this matter, which is being looked into. However, the implementation of the same is imperative in view of the heightened security threats we face," he added. The Kerala Government has constituted a high-level committee headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Jolly Cherian to probe the low-intensity country-made bomb that was found inside a Kingfisher flight. The plane was on Sunday taken to the remote bay area of the Thiruvananthapuram airport, where the security personnel and the airport authorities assessed the suspicious object found on-board. All the passengers were deplaned after the cargo cleaner alerted the CISF officials of a suspicious object. The Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) was soon rushed to the airport to check the nature of the crude bomb. The explosive was defused and later taken off the aircraft.
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