Saturday, July 08, 2006

IA security breach: Bag on board, not passenger

Kolkata: It was a Kanishka rerun. Minus the bomb. An Indian (Airlines) flight took off from Kolkata on Wednesday evening without the staff realising that there was an unaccompanied luggage on board. Among the passengers was Union HRD minister Arjun Singh.
The potentially devastating security breach went unnoticed by security and airline officials until the passenger — an elderly lady — flew into a rage on realising that the plane had left without her.
In fact, she was in the security-hold lounge when the plane took to the skies. And none of the cabin crew noticed the empty seat in the flight booked to capacity.
It was a blunder that cost 329 lives in the Kanishka bombing in 1985. The Kanishka bomber had checked in his luggage on AI flight 182, but did not board.
08/07/06 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India
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