Passengers aboard a Kandahar-bound flight were sent into panic mode and delayed after their pilot mistakenly pressed the plane’s hijack button just before take off.


According to a report from The Indian Express, there were 124 passengers and nine crewmembers traveling on an Ariana Afghan Airlines aircraft from Delhi, India.


The pilot pressing the hijack button sent security alerts across the region and pushed various agencies, including the anti-terror force National Security Guard (NSG), into action. NSG commanders and officials of other security agencies swiftly responded to the alert and surrounded the aircraft shortly after the button was pushed, the Indian Express reported.


The plane was cleared for departure after more than two-hours of inspections and security checks. The Delhi-Kandahar FG312 flight was scheduled to depart at 3:30 pm.


According to senior officials in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS}, the aircraft returned to the isolation bay under strict protocol. One BCAS official told The Indian Express that the aircraft was cleared for departure after confirmation that it was an error by the captain. In addition, secondary security checks were carried out and customs clearance of all passengers were taken before the flight was cleared for departure.


Ariana Afghan Airlines (ARIANA) is the largest airline in Afghanistan and serves as the country’s national carrier, according to the company’s website.


Founded in 1955, ARIANA is the oldest airline of Afghanistan. The company has its main base at Kabul International Airport, from where it provides flights to India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, and United Arab Emirates.