A Goa-bound plane from Moscow received a bomb threat, officials aware of the matter said on Saturday. It was yet to enter the Indian airspace when the threat was sent via email to the Goa Airport (Dabolim) Director. The Azur Air plane – with 247 passengers aboard – was diverted to an airport in Uzbekistan, officials added.
Hours after the threat, the Russian Embassy in a statement said: “The plane flying from Perm to Goa which made an emergency landing in Uzbekistan because of a bomb threat will resume its journey at 20:00 GMT. No dangerous substances were found onboard.”
In a statement earlier, it had underlined: “The Embassy is closely following the situation around the Azur Air flight AZV2463 en route from Perm to Goa. According to available information, the plane made an emergency landing in Uzbekistan after a report of alleged bomb scare. The aircraft is being inspected, the airline is preparing accommodation of the passengers in hotels.”
This is the second Goa-bound plane that has been diverted due to such a scare in weeks. Earlier this month, another charter flight of the same airline was diverted to Gujarat’s Jamnagar over a bomb scare. The plane, which made an emergency landing, had 236 passengers aboard. “The Embassy was alerted by the Indian authorities about the alleged bomb scare on the Azur Air flight en route from Moscow to Goa. The aircraft has made an emergency landing at Jamnagar Indian Air Force Base. Everyone on board is safe. The authorities are conducting a thorough inspection of the aircraft,” a statement by the Russian embassy had read within hours of the incident being reported on January 9. The plane was cleared to take off the next day after the call appeared to be hoax
Just days after this incident, a Delhi to Pune SpiceJet flight was delayed before take-off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital after the control room received a call regarding the presence of a bomb on the flight. A CISF official said upon receiving the bomb threat, the Airport Operation Control Centre (AOCC) informed the Security Operations Control Centre (SOCC) with a Bomb Threat Assessment Committee was formed.
Later, however, police arrested a 24-year-old man for making the hoax call to help his friends spend some more time with two women they had met on holiday in Manali, HT reported.