Explosives found in cargo hold of Kingfisher Airlines jet


NEW DELHI – A newspaper-wrapped package containing explosive material was found Sunday in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft after it landed in the southern Indian state of Kerala, police said.

Police were investigating how the powder got on board the flight from Bangalore, India’s information technology hub, to Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala’s capital, despite stringent security measures.

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“It was explosive material which is commonly used in firecrackers, but can also be used to make a crude bomb,” city police commissioner Ajith Kumar said by telephone from Thiruvananthapuram.

The package was found by airline staff during a routine check of the Kingfisher Airlines aircraft after passengers disembarked at Thiruvananthapuram, Kumar said.

Airports across India have been on high alert since January after reports that al-Qaida-linked militants planned to hijack a plane.

Security checks at Thiruvananthapuram airport were tightened further after the explosive material was found, with more checks of passengers and staff at the airport, police said.