Two friends travelling from Delhi airport went through a pat-down search and thorough interrogation after they uttered ‘bomb’ while standing in a queue for boarding.

According to airport sources, two Indore-bound passengers were handed over to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) after one of them said, “May I carry bomb please”. The duo was let off after re-checking and interrogation, the sources added.

The staff of Indigo airline heard the conversation and informed the CISF, which is responsible for the security of the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in the capital. “Their baggage was recalled and checked again thoroughly,” a CISF official said. “They were also subjected to thorough frisking. A pat-down search was ordered, but nothing suspicious could be found. They admitted it was a joke and apologised. We let them go after two hours and proper checking.”

The incident took place on Monday afternoon.

Last month, a medical student from Kashmir was detained at the IGI airport after the security staff claimed her check-in luggage carried a graffiti saying “there could be bomb inside”. She was detained and released several hours later after a background check.

The incident led former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh to look into the issue.

In February, a Delhi-based exporter and his friend landed in trouble after he claimed he was carrying a ‘bomb’ in the flight that had SPG-protected Priyanka Gandhi as a co-traveller.

The passenger was treated as a ‘possible threat’ and taken back, with his co-passenger, to the terminal.