A “chemical incident” at the London City airport on Friday prompted evacuation of hundreds of passengers and staff from the premises, also causing sickness to 26 travellers and shutdown of flights in and out of the hub.
“We are treating 26 patients at the scene for difficulty breathing,” the London Ambulance Service said, adding of those two had been taken to hospital.
A “hazardous area response team” had also been sent to the airport in east London, which caters mainly for business travellers and short-haul flights.
he fire brigade said three fire engines had been sent to the scene following “reports of a chemical incident” but did not say what the cause might be.
“Around 500 members of the public and staff have been evacuated and there are reports of a number of passengers feeling unwell,” the Fire Brigade said in a statement.
London city airport’s official Twitter account said it had been evacuated “due to fire alarm”.
Terminal has been evacuated due to fire alarm, we are looking into the cause- updates to follow.— London City Airport (@LondonCityAir) October 21, 2016
Several incoming flights from destinations such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris had been diverted to other airports.
Airport has now reopened. We thank passengers for their patience, access to terminal will be staggered & disruption to flights expected.— London City Airport (@LondonCityAir) October 21, 2016
After a couple of hours since the first report of the incident, the London City Airport said in a series of tweets:
“Following the evacuation, some individuals reported feeling unwell and were treated at the scene by London Ambulance Service. Emergency services responded to evacuation, citing a possible chemical incident with firefighters and police officers jointly conducted sweeps of the airport building. The search of the airport led to the discovery of what is believed to be a CS gas spray. Whilst the cause of the incident has yet to be confirmed, officers are investigating whether it was the result of an accidental discharge of the spray.”
The airport was declared safe and reopened at approximately 1900 (local time), the airport added.
London City Airport is primarily aimed at business travellers and is the 13th busiest airport in Britain, with a total of 4.3 million passengers last year.