Airport authorities in the western Indian city of Mumbai delayed a Dubai-bound Emirates flight for more than four hours after receiving an anonymous phone call that terrorist suspects were on board, an airport official said Sunday.
Preliminary investigations indicated that the call was a hoax and may have been the result of a family dispute.
The Emirates flight EK-505 was preparing for takeoff to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when it was halted after the airport received the call saying two passengers on board belonged to a terror group, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters.
The plane was then held back and all the passengers and baggage screened again, he said, adding that two passengers had been detained for further questioning, but initial investigations showed that the call was made as a result of a family dispute.
An Emirates official confirmed the delay in Mumbai and said two passengers were taken off the plane
"The airline is extending full co-operation during this period," Orhan Abbas, Emirates Vice President, India & Nepal, said in a statement e-mailed to The Associated Press in Dubai.
"Full security procedures were activated including the deplaning of all passengers and a thorough screening of the aircraft, passengers and baggage," he said.
The plane was allowed to leave without the male passenger and his wife, Abbas said.
The airport official declined to give the names of the passengers and no other details were immediately available.
Late last month Indian airports were put on high alert after intelligence services received information that al-Qaida-linked militants were plotting to hijack a plane.