London City Airport evacuated when late passenger sets off fire alarms to delay plane

The passenger tried to gain access to another gate by smashing the fire alarm to release the doors after being told he could not board his flight

Click to follow
The Independent Online

London City Airport had to be evacuated on Tuesday when a passenger who was running late for a flight to Frankfurt triggered the fire alarm after being blocked from boarding his plane.

The passenger is understood to have smashed the alarm after arriving late for his British Airways flight in a bid to gain access to the plane from another gate.

The terminal had to be evacuated by staff at 2.45pm before people were allowed to re-enter 15 minutes later. Scotland Yard said they were called to the scene and spoke to the passenger in question, but did not make any arrests.

A spokesperson for City Airport said: “Once an aircraft has started its engines there’s little you can do to get onboard if you’re late, short of clinging to the undercarriage - which we obviously wouldn’t recommend.

“Lovely though Frankfurt is, the person who triggered the alarm will probably, with hindsight, wish they had taken it on the chin and re-booked as the matter was taken up by police.”

British Airways said it could not comment on whether the passenger was allowed to board another flight after the incident.

A spokesman for the airline said: "A passenger due to travel on the BA8734 flight to Frankfurt yesterday was extremely late arriving at the departure gate at London City Airport.

"By the time he did arrive the aircraft had pushed back, the passenger had been offloaded and the British Airways ground staff had left the area.

"The passenger then tried to gain access to another gate area by smashing the fire alarm to release the doors. Once the fire alarm was activated the terminal building was evacuated."