Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport is being evacuated as bomb disposal experts carry out a series of controlled explosions after a suspicious package was found.
Police told The Guardian they were called to Terminal 3 with reports of a suspicious package/bag. The ensuing evacuations were taken a precautionary measure as passengers said airport staff began taking passengers off planes at the terminal.
Manchester Airport confirmed that an evacuation was taking police after police and bomb disposal unites responded Wednesday morning.
A spokesperson said:
“Police were called at 8:50 A.M. on Wednesday 5 July 2017 to reports of a suspicious package at Manchester airport. Officers are responding and a precautionary evacuation of Terminal 3 has taken place.
“Bomb disposal officers attended and a series of controlled explosions were carried out of the package. Inquiries are ongoing.”
The spokesperson did say that passengers using Terminals 1 and 2 “should travel as normal.”
Police confirmed that the suspicious bag was not believed to be a viable device, noting “there is not believed to be any threat at this time.” The incident is not considered to be terror-related.
Passengers flying out of Terminal 3 are to go to Terminal 1 for more information.
Terminal 3 is the smallest terminal at Manchester Airport and is used mostly for domestic flights with some to the U.S. and Europe.
Kate Feld, a writer from Ramsbottom, was scheduled to fly to Philadelphia when the evacuation began. She told the Manchester Evening News:
“There was an announcement: everyone had to leave. It was being evacuated. The man said it was just a drill. Clearly this was not the case in retrospect. On the airfield they have taken all of the people off the planes and the buses.
“One flight just did take off. One friend is on a bus. She was waiting to fly out and is now on a bus. Nobody is telling us what is going on. There has been no announcement. A man has come out to tell us to get further back.”
Manchester Airport is an international airport in Ringway, Manchester, England, 7.5 nautical miles south-west of Manchester city centre. In 2016, it was the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom in terms of passenger numbers.
Last year, the airport served more than 25.6 million passengers.