The Mangalore airport is on a high alert after an unattended bag with a low-intensity explosive was recovered at the terminal building on Monday morning, sources said, adding an IndiGo flight had to be called back for checking following a threat call in the afternoon.
It all began at 8.45 a.m. when Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the paramilitary force mandated to guard the terminal building, recovered a black bag at the IndiGo ticket counter and later a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) declared that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) had been put inside it.
CISF Deputy Inspector General Anil Pandey told IANS that it was a "low intensity" IED. The IED had been put inside the cooling pit and defused.
"The CISF scrutinised the CCTV footage outside the terminal building and it was found that a man wearing a while cap left the bag at the IndiGo counter and left the airport in an autorickshaw," Pandey said.
It was learnt that the bag was full of nails and some components -- battery, wire, timer, switch and detonator necessary for manufacturing an IED, said sources.
As the security agencies went into a tizzy with CISF and state police personnel busy sanitizing airport terminal, an unknown threat call was received by terminal manager around 3.30 p.m. regarding a bomb aboard an IndiGo flight from Mangalore to Bengaluru (6E-528).
Sources said the flight, which was due to take off, was called back for checks. "Nothing objectionable was found in the flight on checking. A complete sanitization operation was carried out at the Mangalore airport after the caller threatened that it is just a "trailer", the official said.
The Mangaluru Police have released photographs and the CCTV footage of the suspected man getting out of the terminal building and the autorickshaw in which he left.
An IndiGo statement said: "All established security protocols were followed and the aircraft was cleared for operations."
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