RAWALPINDI: The Islamabad airport was cleared after a bomb hoax on Tuesday. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) closed the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) for flight operations for sometime after receiving a bomb threat call from London.
At about 0505am the CAA received a call at its flight enquiry number 9031221. The caller asked about number of planes present at the BBIA. He informed the CAA official taking the call that a bomb was present under any seat of flights KU-206, GF-771, TK-711, PK-755, and WY-346.
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The CAA, following the call, closed all flights operations and called for bomb disposal squad for thorough search of the five aircrafts and complete search of the airport.
The flight operations remained suspended for four hours, an official at the BBIA said.
The official said that the caller introduced himself as Mike.
The caller first asked about number of aircrafts at the airport and then said that a bomb could have been planted under “any seat” of the aircrafts.
In a press release, the CAA noted that the authority enhanced security measures after receiving the call.
The call disrupted morning flight operations at the airport.
The CAA, relevant security agencies, and a bomb disposal squad cleared the airport and the five aircrafts after thorough checking.
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“Flight operations at the airport were resumed following precautionary measures taken to ensure safety of aircrafts and passengers,” stated the CAA.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), in a separate press statement, said that three flights of the airline were delayed due to the call.
The three PIA flights were bound for Riyadh, Gilgit, and Skardu.
The flights were later allowed to take off after the bomb disposal squad cleared them.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2016.