BREAKING: London airport evacuated in “chemical” scare; authorities now say…

Travelers and passengers in London’s airports are no doubt on edge after a “chemical” incident forced the closure of the London City Airport earlier today.

A few hours ago as reported, Twenty-six people were treated for breathing difficulties with two individuals taken to hospital following an alleged chemical incident at London City Airport.

The site was evacuated after a fire alarm went off in the terminal building. Passengers and airport staff were left on the tarmac as three fire engines responded to the alarm.

“Three fire engines and a range of specialist appliances have been called to reports of a chemical incident at London City Airport this afternoon,” London Ambulance said in a statement.

Ambulance crews and the Hazardous Area Response Team attended to the incident.

Now CNN reports the danger is gone and the airport has been declared safe.

“Two complete sweeps of the airport building were carried out jointly by firefighters and police officers both wearing protective equipment,” the London Fire Brigade said in a statement. “No elevated readings were found and the building was ventilated, searched and declared safe.”

The airport was evacuated earlier Friday after a number of passengers reported feeling unwell, police said.

Firefighters received reports of the chemical incident around 4 p.m. (11 a.m. ET), the brigade said. By 7:25 p.m. (2:25 p.m. ET), the airport had reopened.

Alistair Snowie, who spoke to CNN on the phone from a medical tent where he was being treated, said he was waiting in line to check in for his flight home to Stirling, Scotland, when everyone started coughing.

“It all happened very quickly,” he said. “The alarm didn’t go off at first, but we all just ran. Nobody knew what was going on.”

Hours later, Snowie said he was still wondering what made him start coughing.

“We still don’t know what we breathed in,” he said. “Don’t feel too great.”

Of course, officials haven’t yet said what caused the incident. Mustn’t rush to judgment after all.

In an unrelated related story, The Sun reports Police swarmed North Greenwich station, close to the O2, evacuating passengers and setting up a large cordon shortly after 11am yesterday.

A bomb squad carried out a controlled detonation of the suspicious item and the station remained closed into the evening while officers investigated.

This morning, a 19-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the incident.

COPS investigating a suspicious item destroyed by controlled explosion at North Greenwich Station yesterday have arrested a 19-year-old man on terror charges.

The man was arrested by armed cops in Holloway Road, London at 12.20 today.

A Taser was used as the 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation and instigation of terrorism acts, under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

He has been taken to a London police station where he remains in custody.

For those of you keeping score, North Greenwich station is just two Underground stops away from London City Airport. But that’s probably just a coincidence.

[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]


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