Thursday 21 November 2019

False hijacking alarm causes major security alert at Schiphol Airport

Emergency services had massed at the airport on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Dutch police massed at the airport (Peter Dejong/AP)
Dutch police massed at the airport (Peter Dejong/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Passengers and crew were removed from a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport during a major security alert, after a hijacking alarm was activated by mistake.

The military police service earlier said they were responding to a suspicious situation at the airport on the outskirts of Amsterdam.

Dutch media reported that emergency services were deployed in large numbers on Wednesday night.

But Air Europa later tweeted that it had been a false alarm.

They said that a warning that triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport was activated by mistake.

“Nothing has happened, all passengers are safe and sound waiting to fly soon. We deeply apologize,” they tweeted.

Dutch justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said in a tweet that he was impressed by the “sharp and alert response of authorities and services, both local and national”.

Many departing flights were delayed, but the airport said in a statement that “regular operation” had resumed.

The alert in the Netherlands came as Milan’s Malpensa Airport was briefly closed while police investigated a suspicious item in someone’s luggage that turned out to be a harmless computer part.

Flights were taking off and landing normally during that time.

PA Media

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