Indian Passenger Airliner Hijacked, Lands in New Delhi
A Boeing 737 belonging to India's state-run Alliance Air was hijacked just after take off from Bombay but landed in the Indian capital at around 1:00 am (1930 GMT Wednesday), officials said.
The plane, reportedly carrying 54 passengers and crew, was surrounded by federal commandos at a "secluded area" of the New Delhi airport, officials said.
Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain said the pilots of the commandeered plane had asked for engineers but could not offer more details.
"We just got one message. The pilot did not give any more details. Our contingency plans are in place," the aviation minister said, adding that all the passengers on board the aircraft were "safe."
Sources said a two-member squad had hijacked the Boeing 737 and added the attackers were males who "did not speak very well in English."
Civil aviation ministry sources also said the pilots of the Alliance Air plane, carrying a total of 46 passengers and an eight-member crew, had locked themselves in the cockpit and were refusing to open the door.
Witnesses at the Indira Gandhi airport in New Delhi said a fuel truck had been parked near the aircraft.
Aviation sources said the tip-off about the hijack had been made through an anonymous phone call to the police.
India, meanwhile, sounded a nationwide alert at its civilian and military airports.
Alliance Air is a subsidiary of the Indian Airlines -- NEW DELHI (AFP)
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