Explosives thought to be found on Kingfisher Airlines plane in Southern India

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Explosives thought to be found on Kingfisher Airlines plane in Southern India.

March 22, 2010

  • Explosive materials, wrapped in newspaper in shape of cricket ball

  • No detonator or timing device found – bomb would not have gone off on own

  • “Country-made bomb” and “crude” bomb, also called “powder”

  • An explosive material used commonly to make firecrackers

  • Kingfisher Airlines aircraft

  • Found at Thiruvananthapuram airport, Kerala state, southwestern tip of India.

  • Flight (IT-4731) was Sunday morning

  • Flight originated from Bangalore, India

  • Found after 27 passengers had disembarked

  • State government asked security agencies to conduct investigation

  • Cargo cleaner (other reports say airline staff) found the device and Bomb Disposal Squad alerted

  • Airports across India on high alert since January after AQ-related militants threatened to hijack plane.

Explosive material found in Indian passenger plane

The Associated Press
Sunday, March 21, 2010; 6:32 AM

NEW DELHI -- A newspaper-wrapped package containing explosive material was found Sunday in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft after it landed in the southern Indian state of Kerala, police said.

Police were investigating how the powder got on board the flight from Bangalore, India's information technology hub, to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala's capital, despite stringent security measures.

"It was explosive material which is commonly used in firecrackers, but can also be used to make a crude bomb," city police commissioner Ajith Kumar said by telephone from Thiruvananthapuram.

The package was found by airline staff during a routine check of the Kingfisher Airlines aircraft after passengers disembarked at Thiruvananthapuram, Kumar said.

Airports across India have been on high alert since January after reports that al-Qaida-linked militants planned to hijack a plane.

Security checks at Thiruvananthapuram airport were tightened further after the explosive material was found, with more checks of passengers and staff at the airport, police said.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects that Kumar was speaking from Thiruvananthapuram sted Thiruvananthapuram airport.)

Kerala Government orders probe into bomb found inside Kingfisher flight

Monday, March 22, 2010,6:11 [IST]
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 22 (ANI): 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 IT-4731 from Bangalore to Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday morning.

The state government has asked the security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and find out how the lapse took place at the airport.

Kerala Law Minister M Vijaykumar said, "It is a serious security lapse. We have directed the security agencies to look into this."

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. (ANI)

Explosives found on Kingfisher aircraft in India
Posted on: March 22nd, 2010 by Frank Todd
Explosives are thought to have been found aboard a passenger plan in southern India. A package containing explosive materials were found wrapped in newspaper in the shape of a cricket ball. After crew members discovered a bag containing the package in the cargo hold, all 27 passengers had already disembarked.

The aircraft, which belongs to Indian carrier Kingfisher Airlines, has now been removed to an isolated area at the Thiruvananthapuram airport located in the state of Kerala. The aircraft had earlier arrived in from Bangalore.

U.K. Bansal, special secretary for internal security for the home ministry, commented that the discovery shows a serious lapse in security. He added that no detonator was found or timing device meaning the bomb would not have gone off on its own.

Regardless, he commented, it was still a bomb that was aloud to get onto the aircraft without security catching it. Just last month, an explosion in India’s western city of Pune killed 16 people.  The first major attack since the militant strike in Mumbai in 2008.

Indian airlines were warned by the home ministry to take extra security precautions in the wake of an intelligence threat received last January on Republic Day regarding a plane hijacking.

Ajith Jumar, Thiruvananthapuram’s police commissioner, said that its possible the explosives had been placed on the plane after it landed. The authorities plan on investigating the situation further as well as analyzing the aircraft at the airport.

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