Glasgow airport evacuated but suspicious package turns out to be false alarm

PART of Glasgow airport was evacuated last night after a suspicious package, which eventually turned out to be a false alarm, was found in the search area of one of the terminals.

• Anxious passengers make calls as the airport is cleared

Bomb disposal experts from the Royal Navy were called to Scotland's second busiest airport after security staff found a suspect package during a routine X-ray screening of passengers' luggage in the security area where passengers are searched before reaching the restricted zone.

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable of Strathclyde police,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.

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"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."

It was not clear whether the bag had already been screened in the search area of the airport, but it was reported to be destined for Lahore, in Pakistan.

Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from parts of the airport as a precaution, police said.

Officers cordoned off an area of around 100 yards around the eastern half of the airport and prevented cars from stopping outside the building.

Passengers arriving on flights spoke of being kept waiting on planes until buses could be found to transport them to a secure part of the airport.

The western end of the airport terminal remained open.

Several dozen passengers arriving at the airport were not allowed to collect their cars from the multi-storey car park located opposite the terminal. They faced either abandoning their vehicles or hiring a taxi.

Passengers who flew to Heath-row and Gatwick following the alert were told their luggage would not arrive until today.

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There was no major disruption to flights. But passenger hold-ups included delays to the British Midland flight due to depart from Glasgow to Heathrow. It was late in leaving because passengers had been unable to proceed through security.

The spokesman said no further details would be released last night.

Simon Luby, an engineer from Glasgow, who arrived on a flight from Heathrow during the alert, said: "It's just one of those things. When we arrived at the airport, we were kept waiting for about 30 minutes.

"We were told there was a security incident in the airport. We then had to wait for a bus to transfer us from the plane to the airport.That seemed to be a big, big long wait."

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service said they had not been called to the airport.