Europe

Frankfurt airport alert: Woman passenger prompts evacuation

Passengers leave the terminal 1 of the airport of Frankfurt on August 31, 2016 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hundreds of passengers were asked to leave the terminal as police searched the area

A woman passenger sparked a major alert at Frankfurt airport by entering the departure area without completing a security check.

Flights were halted and part of the airport was evacuated before a suspect was eventually caught by police.

An unconfirmed report said she was with two young children.

It took more than three hours for the airport to resume operations at 12:30 (10:30 GMT) and around 100 flights had to be cancelled.

It was initially unclear whether the woman had left the security check area early on purpose or whether she had assumed she had been given the all clear.

However, police spokesman Christian Altenhofen said later it appeared to have been a misunderstanding.

Image copyright Twitter

Bild website reported that an alarm had gone off suggesting explosive residue in her backpack, although airport police made clear there was no suggestion of a bomb threat.

Police moved to evacuate large parts of Terminal 1 and passengers gathered on the streets outside the terminal building until they were allowed to return.

Frankfurt airport is Germany's biggest airport and one of Europe's busiest hubs, attracting more than 61 million passengers in 2015.

The airport said operations would resume in a "phased and co-ordinated way", however air safety organisation Eurocontrol said it could take hours before flights returned to normal.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Passengers waited outside the terminal for the all clear

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