Gatwick North Terminal has been evacuated after a ‘suspicious article’ has been found in line with a new terror threat.
Bomb disposal experts are called to the scene, with an eyewitness reporting that there will be a ‘controlled explosion’.
Sources suggest Armed police arrested a man at the North Terminal with a ‘grenade in a bag’ and screamed ‘get down, get down’ before they restrained him following ‘suspicious actions by a man who discarded an item at the airport’.
Mari Reynolds tweeted that she’d heard people at the airport, Britain’s second biggest, saying that a ‘hand grenade’ had been found, though police have not confirmed this. It was reported at one point that the suspect was in possession of a gun.
A spokesperson for the airport said that passengers due to land at the North Terminal will instead arrive at the South Terminal.
She said: ‘Due to an incident the North Terminal landside area has been evacuated as a precautionary measure. As part of this precautionary measure roads in the immediate proximity to the airport have been closed.
Detective Superintendent Nick May said: ‘At this time, we are investigating the circumstances of the incident and it is too early to say what the item may be. However, given the events in Paris on Friday evening, there is heightened awareness around any such incident and it is best that we treat the matter in all seriousness.
‘We are aware that there is concern about what has happened in France, but the general threat level remains the same and people should be aware as usual of anyone acting suspiciously.’
A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said: ‘Flights are still arriving and departing as normal and we have extra staff on-site looking after passenger welfare.’
The drama at Gatwick follows terrorist attacks in Paris that has sadly cost the lives of 127 people.