In a bizarre case of security lapse, Air India crew members discovered a defused grenade last night (October 3) on the business class of the airlines' jumbo aircraft flying to Jeddah. The aircraft was kept as a standby in New Delhi for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent trip to the US.
"The Boeing-747 was kept on standby at IGI Airport, which means it was fully ready to fly out for the PM in case the Jumbo Jet being used by him developed a snag," states a Times of India report.
According to sources, the plane was released for commercial operation when Modi landed back from US on Thursday night.
"The B-747 was sent on a Delhi-Mumbai-Hyderabad-Jeddah flight. On reaching Jeddah in the early hours of Saturday (India time), security agencies there found a defused grenade inside the business class of the aircraft. This sensational discovery of a defused bomb on an aircraft kept standby for the PM has sent everyone in a tizzy," said highly placed sources.
The aircraft is now grounded in Jeddah and held back from operating, as per schedule, to Calicut.
"Jeddah airport security has sanitized the aircraft and given it the clearance to fly out. But now Indian security agencies have taken over this case and are investigating how a defused grenade could make it inside the aircraft. All night long, AI and security agencies have been trying to resolve this mystery, which would be a serious security lapse unless it happens to be an exercise by the security/intelligence agencies to check the alertness of our aviation security wing," said sources.