Abu Dhabi-Kochi Air India hijack farce: Fliers told to drink urine

Indian police have filed cases against six passengers, accusing them of storming into the cockpit

Security staff at India's Trivandrum airport have been accused of asking thirsty passengers to drink urine. According to one of the passengers of a Kochi bound Air India Express flight IX 4522 that departed from Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening, a security officer indicated through sign language to drink urine when a thirsty passenger requested drinking water.

The passenger said the water was being requested for a baby who was thirsty, especially after the flight was stranded at the tarmac at Trivandrum airport for more than 10 hours. Passengers travelling to Kochi from Abu Dhabi finally managed to reach their destination almost 19 hours after their scheduled departure.
 
The flight originally scheduled to take off at 9.15pm local time in Abu Dhabi, only took off at 12.55am after a three and a half hour delay. The flight was originally scheduled to land at Kochi at 3.30am but was diverted to Trivandrum following bad weather at the Kochi airport. It finally landed at Trivandrum a little after 6.30am. It was then stranded at the Trivandrum airport for more than ten hours. The flight finally departed Trivandrum airport at 3pm and landed at Kochi an hour later.
 
All along passengers said they were treated very badly both by the airline staff and security staff at the airport.
 
“We had children as young as one month old and a few pregnant women on the flight. One of the passenger was even assaulted,” said Abdul Qader one of the passenger.
 
According to another passenger, when water was requested for a baby on board, a Kerala police staff through a sign language indicated to drink urine. “There was no food or water provided for several hours after the flight landed in Trivandrum. It was pretty hot inside the cabin as the air conditions were also switched off,” the passenger added.
 
Many of them even wowed that they would never fly the airline ever again. “They might as well kill the company. They are almost taking it towards that direction,” said another passenger.
 
Police case against some
 
Indian police have filed cases against six passengers, accusing them of storming into the cockpit of an Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi to Kochi.
 
The pilot of the Air India Express flight IX 4522, Captain Rupali Waghmare, had sent a false hijack alert that alerted all Indian airports and sensitive defence establishments after she feared that angry passengers were trying to storm into the cockpit.
 
An emergency situation was declared at Trivandrum airport when the flight landed in India on Friday morning with soldiers surrounding the aircraft for many hours.
 

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Indian police have filed cases against six passengers, accusing them of storming into the cockpit of an Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi to Kochi.

The pilot of the Kochi bound Air India Express flight IX 4522, Captain Rupali Waghmare, had sent a false hijack alert that alerted all Indian airports and sensitive defence establishments after she feared that angry passengers were trying to storm into the cockpit.
 
An emergency situation was declared at Trivandrum airport when the flight landed in India on Friday morning with soldiers surrounding the aircraft for many hours.
 
Passengers of the Kochi bound Air India Express flight IX 4522 that flew from Abu Dhabi were angry at the crew following several hours of delay.
Passengers have, meanwhile, denied that they tried to enter the cockpit and are demanding action against the pilot for creating a false alert.
 
The flight originally scheduled to take off at 9.15pm local time in Abu Dhabi, only took off at 12.55am. The flight was originally scheduled to land at Kochi at 3.30am but was diverted to Trivandrum following bad weather at the Kochi airport. It finally landed at Trivandrum a little after 6.30am.
 
Abu Dhabi-Kochi flight in hijack drama
 
At the time of filing the initial report on Friday mid-morning, passengers were still stuck inside the aircraft (for over nine hours after it landed at the airport). By noon passengers were disembarked and taken into the arrival terminal. Passengers were finally flown to Kochi at 3pm on Friday, more than ten hours after the flight landed at Trivandrum.
 
Earlier, aggrieved passengers are said to have stormed the cockpit upon being informed that they would have to travel by road (for almost 10 hours from Kochi) to Trivandrum.
 
The pilot meanwhile sent out a hijack alert following which the Air Traffic Control declared an emergency situation and the Central Industrial Security Force that is in-charge of the security of airports in India surrounded the flight.
 
One of the passengers told Emirates 24|7 that the airline staff kept on changing their statements. “First we were told that we would be flown back to Kochi. Then we were asked to disembark and travel by road. Passengers who were really angry tried to argue with the crew. I think one of them was trying to stand near the cockpit and argue with the pilot and the crew, but did not actually storm the cockpit," said Pillai one of the passengers. Another passenger said that they were inside the aircraft for over nine hours without food or water.
 
One airport employee said that the pilot could have panicked and sent out the hijack message. “Now it has become a security situation. Passengers will not be able to leave the aircraft or the airport unless they receive security clearance,” the official said.

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