The man ran 200 metres on to the runway apron, where planes are parked, after driving a car up a slip road and evading staff at a security checkpoint.
Steve Thomas, assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said the man left his car near the checkpoint, and security staff told him he could not enter. But he ran through, darted between two police cars which pursued him and was eventually subdued after a violent struggle. The 31-year-old man, of Asian appearance and believed to have little English, was stopped close to a plane.
A controlled explosion detonated the case. It contained clothes, papers and a passport. The man, in his late twenties, is being held under the Mental Health Act.
"Unless we have security guards standing shoulder to shoulder there is always the risk that this can happen," Mr Thomas said. "The police officers and security guards were incredibly brave. The man could be facing serious allegations and how he got through the perimeter will be the subject of those allegations."
Police put a 600-metre cordon around the scene for three hours and parts of Terminals 1 and 2 were closed, reducing the airport to chaos. For a time, passengers were told to stay away from the airport. Road blocks also caused severe congestion. The terminals reopened after three hours, once the scene was cleared.Reuse content