Huge airport search after explosives alert

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A section of Munich international airport was shut down today after a passenger fled from a security check when a laptop computer set off an explosives detector, police said

A spokesman for federal police said the laptop was confiscated but the man escaped into a closed-off area of the Franz Josef Strauss Airport, Germany's second largest after Frankfurt. It was unclear if the laptop actually contained explosives.

"The explosives detector in security control was set off by the laptop and as it was being put through a second time the man disappeared," a police spokesman told German broadcaster N-TV.

About 12 flights bound for destinations in Germany and abroad have been delayed as security officials searched one level of the airport's Terminal 2 for the passenger, airport spokesman Edgar Engert said.

He added that more flights could be delayed.

The security breach happened at about 3:30 p.m. (1430 GMT). Federal police are searching the terminal. Some 1,200 police are searching for the man, said N-TV.

The police spokesman said the closed-area affected European Union flights by German carrier Lufthansa and its partner airlines.