Man arrested for running on to Heathrow runway

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The Independent Online

A man was arrested today after running on to a runway at London's Heathrow airport. Workers said he dumped two rucksacks after climbing over a security fence.

There was a controlled explosion on the bags and early reports are that no explosives were found, suggesting the man was a protester causing disruption ahead of tomorrow's opening by the Queen of the airport's new Terminal 5, said airport sources.

A police spokesman said: "I can confirm that at approximately 2:05 p.m. a man was seen airside at Heathrow airport on the northern runway. He's been arrested by police and he's currently in custody."

Scotland Yard said anti-terrorist officers were aware of the incident but it was being dealt with by local police at the airport.

A spokesman for British Airways said flights were being disrupted; the northern runway was partially open - effectively one end is in use - while the southern runway was unaffected. BA said it would have to make a "small number'' of cancellations.

Today's incident is the second time in recent weeks that security has been breached at the airport. Greenpeace protesters walked on to the runway late last month and climbed on to a Boeing 777 before unfurling a banner in protest against the airport's expansion.