The hijack scare triggered memories of the 1999 Indian Airlines flight IC814 where the Indian government had to release three terrorists because of a hostage situation
New Delhi: Delhi airport authorities panicked on Saturday after the pilot of a Kandahar-bound flight "mistakenly" pressed the 'hijack button' when it was taxiing for take-off.
The Ariana Afghan Airlines plane, with nine crew members and 124 passengers and an infant, took off nearly two hours later after "satisfactory" security checks, they said.
The officials said the pressing of 'hijack button' had pushed all agencies concerned, including the anti-terror force National Security Guard (NSG), into action.
NSG commandos and officials of other agencies swiftly responded to the situation and surrounded the aircraft, they said.
After a two-hour operation that created panic among the passengers on board the aircraft, the plane was cleared for take-off, they said.
The Delhi-Kandahar FG312 flight was scheduled to depart at 3:30 pm.
According to senior officials in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the plane, while taxiing for take-off, returned to the "isolation bay" presumably due to the pressing of the 'hijack button' by the crew.
The aircraft was cleared for departure on confirmation that it was an error by the captain, one of the BCAS officials said.
On December 24, 1999, Indian Airlines flight 814, also known as IC 814, flying from Nepal to Delhi was hijacked by Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. To end the hostage crisis, the Indian government agreed to release three terrorists who later played role in 9/11 attacks, in the kidnap and murder of Daniel Pearl and in the 2006 Mumbai terror attacks.
With agency inputs
Last Updated Nov 11, 2018, 3:50 PM IST