Special Correspondent

Anonymous caller warns of explosives

KOLKATA: A state of full emergency was declared at the city's Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International airport on Tuesday following an anonymous telephone call around 2 p.m. warning that explosives had been planted in two Kolkata-bound aircraft belonging to Bangladesh Biman.

Security was tightened and a high alert sounded as the first of the two flights landed in the afternoon. The other aircraft, whose departure from Dhaka had been delayed, was scheduled to arrive later in the evening.

As soon as the Bangladesh Biman flight from Chittagong landed, all the 68 passengers were evacuated and the aircraft was taken to the isolation bay.

Security personnel cordoned off the aircraft and personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force and the fire brigade took position around it, as experts from the bomb detection squad carried out an intensive search inside. No explosives were found till the evening.

Authorities said all the passengers were taken to the international terminal building after a thorough check of their luggage.

The same security drill would be adopted when the second aircraft landed, airport officials said.

The drill was being carried out in accordance with the directives of the "Bomb Threat Assessment Committee," comprising representatives of the Bureau of Civil Aviation (security), the Airports Authority of India, the police, fire brigade and security agencies.

The departure of the second flight from Dhaka was delayed considerably. Sources said the reason could be the extra security checks being carried out in Dhaka.

The airport is under a general alert since last week as part of security arrangements in view of Independence Day. Visitors are not allowed entry into its concourse.

According to sources, the anonymous telephone call was in English.

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