Glasgow Airport back to normal following security alert
A false alarm resulted in evacuation of the main terminal after a suspicious bag was spotted.
04 November 2010 09:22 GM
Evacuated: Airport cleared because of alert. Pic: © STV
Glasgow International Airport has resumed normal service after it was evacuated on Wednesday night following a security alert when a suspicious bag was found in the security hall of the main terminal.
The area was cleared and the hall was closed after a staff member spotted the bag at 7.55pm in the evening.
Shutters were then pulled down to prevent access to the terminal, and an access road at the front of the airport was closed in what staff called “a precautionary measure”.
One of the airport’s car parks was also closed to the public.
The state of alert continued until just after midnight, at which time the bomb disposal team left and staff were told to go back to their positions.
An announcement over the airport’s tannoy system then informed passengers that it was safe to return to their cars and leave the airport.
Passengers waiting to disembark from flights had been forced to stay on board until late in the evening, when buses took them to the international arrivals area.
One flight, from Gatwick, had disembarked earlier in the evening, but passengers were told that they would have to leave the airport and return for their luggage tomorrow.
However, outgoing passengers who had passed through security were being allowed to board their flights.
STV reporter Joanne Bonnar, who was at the scene, said: “The main terminal was completely closed apart from international arrivals.
“No-one was being allowed onto the road in front of the terminal, and car park two was closed off.
“Passengers were eventually allowed off their planes and they were taken by buses to the international arrivals area. They were allowed to pick up their luggage there.”
Lack of information
Strathclyde Police confirmed that the incident was a false alarm just after midnight.
Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson said: “While this incident has turned out to be a false alarm, there is no doubt that the initial action taken by the staff at the airport was absolutely correct.
“We saw tonight that the police and the airport security team are well trained and well rehearsed in dealing with incidents of this type.
“I’m sure that the relatively small number of people who had their travel plans disrupted will understand the necessity of carrying out such operations.”
However, there were complaints from some passengers at the lack of information being provided by the airport.
Christine Boyle, from Moffat, was on a flight from Gatwick airport. She decided to wait at the airport to collect her luggage rather than return home.
She said: “We arrived at 8.30pm. We went to get our luggage and were told that the airport was being evacuated, and we had to leave.
“After that, we heard nothing – absolutely nothing. No explanation as to what happened, and no explanation as to how long it might take.
“I’m absolutely disgusted. We’ve been here for over four hours, and no-one has told us anything.”
Glasgow International was targeted by terrorists in 2007, when a jeep loaded with propane was driven into the forecourt doors. The only casualty in that attack was one of the bombers, Kafeel Ahmed, who died from burns sustained in the explosion.
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