A Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft with 179 people on board was on Sunday grounded and evacuated in the Nepalese capital after passengers raised an alarm about a bomb inside the plane on overhearing a woman talking about it.

However, after a thorough search of the plane, authorities at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu said that it was a hoax.

“Nothing was found during the security check and the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, has been cleared for flight,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said in New Delhi.

The flight SG-042 was delayed for about four hours due to the threat. The aircraft with 173 passengers and six crew members was ready for take off for Delhi from Kathmandu airport at 10.30 a.m.

According to sources, a passenger was talking about a bomb, which was overheard by her fellow passengers, who informed the cabin crew.

The cabin crew informed the pilot and as per standard procedure the aircraft war taken to an isolated bay and was checked throughly.

All the passengers were evacuated after one of them reported that there was a bomb inside the aircraft at the time it was about to take off at 10 a.m., said an official at the airport’s Rescue Coordination Committee.

The plane was isolated and security personnel conducted thorough checking of the aircraft for more than three hours after the bomb threat was reported.

The flight had landed in Kathmandu from Delhi on Sunday morning. The flight took off from Kathmandu for Delhi after a four hour delay.

Earlier reports said that a foreign tourist, whose nationality is yet to be established, is being interrogated, the officials said.

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