Bag with suspected RDX contents found at Delhi airport

Security tightened at Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport after a suspicious bag was spotted. Photo: ANI/Twitter

A bag with suspected explosives was found at Delhi’s Terminal 3 airport in the early hours of Friday (November 1), leading to passenger movement being restricted for a few hours and roads outside the high-security complex blocked, officials said.

The black bag, which could contain RDX according to preliminary assessment, was found in the arrival area of Terminal 3 and has been kept in a cooling pit.

The bag was detected around 1 am by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.

“The bag was removed with the help of CISF and shifted to another place. It has not been opened yet. It seems like there are some electric wires inside it. We have increased the security of the airport premises,” said Sanjay Bhatia, deputy commissioner of police (Airport).

Preliminary inputs suggested the contents of the bag could be RDX, sources said. It was checked by an explosive detector and a sniffer dog.

The exact nature of the explosive is being ascertained, the sources added.

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CISF Special Director General (airports sector) MA Ganapathy, however, said it was “premature” to say the explosive is RDX grade.

“It can be any material and the initial inputs can be false. To say it is RDX at this point of time is highly premature. We should wait for the final assessment report,” Ganapathy told PTI.

Research Department Explosive, acronymed RDX, is a deadly non-smelly explosive and has been used by terrorist elements in the past to create mass casualties.

Sources said the suspected explosive has been put under observation for the next 24 hours and something certain can be said only after that.

It could be an explosive or an improvised explosive device (IED), they added.

In July this year, a piece of cargo at the Vadodara airport was suspected to containing RDX.

It later turned out to be a consignment of pellets and air guns, an official in the security establishment said.

Giving details of Fridays incident, Delhi Police officials said a call was received around 1 am, following which the bag was found at arrival gate number two of the terminal.

The discovery of the bag caused panic among passengers who were not allowed to exit the terminal for sometime, sources at some airlines said.

Officials said a personnel of the CISF and the Delhi Police conducted a complete anti-sabotage check of the Indira Gandhi International Airport after which passenger movement was allowed around 4 am.

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CISF and police have stepped up security at the facility in accordance with standard procedure, they said.

Delhi airport has three terminals and domestic as well as international flights operate from the Terminal-3.