Saturday, 23 September, 2023

Child on Flight

10 suspended over security lapse at HSIA

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 14 September, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news

The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) withdrew 10 officials and employees from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) on Wednesday as a 10-year-old child boarded a Kuwait Airways flight without passport, visa and boarding pass, evading its security systems.  

Those who have been suspended are officials and staff of immigration police, aviation security, ground handling and Kuwait Airways. They have been withdrawn for their failure in carrying out responsibilities at the airport.

A five-member probe body was also formed to investigate the matter.

The incident has brought into question the safety of travellers at the airport.

How did the child board the flight, evading all the security systems at the airport? many questioned.

CAAB Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman told journalists a five-member investigation committee led by a deputy director-level officer of the aviation has been formed.  

He said, “We are not taking this incident lightly. Action is being taken against whoever is responsible here. Initially 10 people were withdrawn. Action will be taken after investigation.

Every employee working at the airport has their duty passes while the passengers hold valid passports and boarding passes, he said. 

Besides, after entering the airport, one has to go through 8-10 steps, including immigration, to get on the plane. But, the child was restrained nowhere, said the CAAB chief. 

On Monday night, the child alone boarded a Kuwait Airways flight (KU-284) at the airport.

He sat in a seat inside the plane. At one stage, the passenger, who bought the ticket for this seat, came and asked him to take the seat designated for him beside his parents. But the child was not speaking.

The passenger informed the staffs concerned of the matter. Then who is the guardian of this child was sought.

The number of passengers in the aircraft is also counted.

At that time, they came to know that this child entered the plane alone without passport, visa and boarding pass.

The child was later handed over to the airport’s Aviation Security (AVSEC) by Kuwait Airways.

The airport authorities then handed over the child to the Airport Police Station on Tuesday morning.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Airport Police Station Azizul Haque Mia said the child’s name is Jonaid Mollah, 10.

He hails from Muksudpur of Gopalganj. His family members were informed of the incident. Later, his uncle Yusuf Molla came to the police station and the child was handed over to him.

The OC said he is son of Imran Molla, who is a farmer.

His parents are separated. Now no one keeps track of the child. So his uncle was given the custody.