DGCA team to begin probe into 'hijack' drama

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 20, 2012 09:08 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: A police team has been set up by the Kerala government to ascertain the truth behind the hijack alarm in the Abu Dhabi-Kochi Air India flight even as a team of DGCA officials are set to arrive here to probe the case.

A team of state police, led by Assistant Commissioner K S Vimal would also conduct an investigation to probe the pilot's charge that she had issued the hijack alert after some passengers entered the cockpit and threatened her.

Meanwhile, airport sources said the team from Chennai led by its southern regional director will arrive here later today and immediately start proceedings, including taking the statement of pilot Rupali Waghmare of Air Express flight 4422 which flew here from Abu Dhabi.

Airport authorities have already sent a copy of the Cockpit Voice Recorder to GCDA's office in Mumbai for analysing its contents.

The team would also question airport officials and staff present when the drama unfolded after passengers protested diversion of the Kochi-bound flight to the Kerala capital and delay in arranging onward travel to Kochi.

Based on the woman pilot's complaint, city police had registered a case against six 'identifiable' passengers on board the flight.

In her complaint to the DGP, the pilot claimed she was threatened, manhandled and restrained from moving out for more than five hours, police said.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who ordered the police probe, had yesterday described the protest by passengers as a "spontaneous reaction" due to the delay in reaching their destination after being stranded here.

Around 200 passengers of the Air India Kochi bound flight from Abu Dhabi protested and some allegedly tried to enter the cockpit after the Kochi-bound flight was diverted here due to bad visibility.

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