Breaking: Bomb squad conduct controlled explosion at Luton Airport after evacuation

Passengers have been evacuated from the terminal building. Picture by Gavin Harper
Passengers have been evacuated from the terminal building. Picture by Gavin Harper

Police have conducted a controlled explosion at Luton Airport after a suspicious package was found in the security checking area this afternoon.

The terminal was evacuated while a bomb disposal unit inspected the package, roads from junction 10a of the M1 leading up to the airport have also been closed.

Luton Airport has been evacuated

Luton Airport has been evacuated

The A1081 and London Road towards Luton town centre remain open to traffic travelling from the M1.

A number of incoming flights were diverted to Stansted Airport.

In a statement issued at 5.50pm Beds Police confirmed the controlled explosion, adding that there had been no arrests.

It read: “London Luton Airport is in the process of reopening following a security alert that took place earlier this afternoon.

“Officers were called to the departure terminal at 1.36pm after airport security raised concerns about an item that was passed through a security check in keeping with the airport’s policies and procedures.

“Members of the public were evacuated from the terminal area as a safety precaution while the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team were called in to undertake the necessary checks required.

“A controlled explosion was conducted at 5.15pm and it was confirmed that the item destroyed, although deemed suspicious, did not present a wider danger.”

Passenger Declan Clifford, 22, whose flight to Turkey was due to take off at 3.05pm, told Luton News he had been evacuated onto the taxiway.

Shortly after 3pm he said: “We are being told nothing, we are being kept in the dark.

“I was in the departure lounge when an automated alert came over the PA system, everyone thought it was a fire drill at first.

“We were told to stay still, then to go to the fire escape before finally we were told to go to gate 125.

“We went out through the gate onto the taxiway and we’re now sitting outside waiting.

“They’ve brought us water and have also brought some of the buses over so we can sit in them.

“They also told us that there are no flights going out but we have seen three planes take off.”

Mr Clifford, from Cambridge, added that the situation ‘looked serious’.

He said: “One woman told me that she had seen two lads messing around refusing to move and they were arrested straight away.

“Monarch told me they don’t know what is going on.”

Paul Green, 40, from Bletchley, was due to fly to Edinburgh at 3.40pm for a business trip.

He told Luton News: “It has certainly been a weird afternoon.

“I was one of the last to come through security before they cleared it, then 20 minutes later the fire alarm went.

“A couple of the fire doors were locked but I managed to get through one before I was told to turn around and go back.

“We went through a gate door and ended up standing outside by the fuel trucks for more than an hour.

“Once it was clear there wasn’t a fire, everyone was very calm.”

Unconfirmed reports suggest a package was found during an x-ray screening in security.

Mr Green added: “Someone told me that they had seen an x-ray operator call for a supervisor and when he didn’t come, shouted for him.

“It was chaotic for the first ten minutes but everything has been fine since then.”