Airport drama: Passengers enter cockpit, panicked pilot sounds hijack alert
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A hijack alarm was triggered in panic by the woman pilot of an Abu Dhabi-Kochi bound Air India flight after agitated passengers allegedly stormed the cockpit following which six people were detained for questioning.
Creating a ruckus, passengers of Air India Express flight 4422 entered into a heated argument with the pilot after it was diverted to the capital due to poor visibility at Kochi, causing delay by nearly nine hours, airport sources said.
Some of them forced their way into the cockpit at which the pilot pressed the alarm button sending out a hijack message,setting off a flurry of activity with airport security personnel surrounding the plane with 200 passengers on board, airport officials said.
Six passengers were detained and questioned by Central Industrial Security Force personnel when the plane landed at Kochi and later let off.
The passengers were questioned on a complaint by Commander Rupali Waghmare that some passengers had barged into the cockpit and threatened her with dire consequences if she did not take the flight to Kochi, Air India sources said.
The flight landed in Kochi with a new crew. The co-pilot, who travelled here as a passenger, identified the six and they were questioned. Police said no FIR was registered.
Aviation regulator DGCA has ordered a probe into the incident, official sources said in New Delhi.
Drama unfolded again at Kochi airport where some of the passengers protested soon after landing complaining they were treated badly and asked to leave by road to Kochi, which irked them and so they refused to disembark at Thiruvananthapuram.
"When we protested, attempts were made to foist false cases on us," one of the passengers said.
Passengers, who were questioned, said their passports were taken by CISF after immigration formalities, but were later returned.
The lady pilot instead of calming angry passengers behaved rudely, Anitha, another passenger said.
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