Bhopal: An airline staffer’s act of mistaking the word ”ballast” for ”blast” created a security scare at the Raja Bhoj International Airport here and led to the sounding of an alert at the establishment, officials said on Friday. The incident occurred on Thursday morning, the airport officials said.
In a statement, the airport authorities said, ”At 0925 hrs, Indigo ticketing counter received a call enquiring about ballast in flight 6E-7931 bound for Agra, which was misunderstood by the Indigo staff as blast. The BATC (Bomb Threat Assessment Committee) was called and after analysing the facts it declared the call as non-specific.” Acting director of the airport Amrit Minj said as the emergency was declared at the airport, all the security systems were activated. ”Unfortunately, a fast-moving vehicle was crossing through the tyre killers, when the emergency switch of the tyre killers got activated and blocked the vehicle.” ”Airport management regrets the inconvenience and damage caused due to this unfortunate incident,” he said.
Ballast, meaning extra weight, is a term used by airlines to add load to the aircraft in case it was not having sufficient passenger load in the flight to maintain balance in the air.
Airport personnel said on Friday that as the woman staffer had joined recently, she was unable to differentiate between the terms ballast and blast, which led to the confusion. The call was received from Gurgaon, he said. ”Though ballast is a widely used term in aviation and railways, it is difficult for a fresher or common man to understand the difference between the two,” he said.
No action has been taken in this matter so far.