London City Airport evacuation: Man arrested under terror laws after unleashing 'noxious substance'

25-year-old accused of 'using noxious substance to cause serious damage'

Samuel Osborne
Monday 24 October 2016 13:52 BST
Chemical attack at London City Airport was a 'terror incident'

A man has been arrested under terror laws for unleashing a chemical substance that led to the evacuation of London City Airport on Friday.

London Metropolitan Police said they arrested a 25-year-old man on Saturday on suspicion of using a noxious substance to cause serious damage, an offence under anti-terror laws.

He was arrested at a home in east London and taken to a west London police station.

People outside London City Airport after dozens of passengers were treated for breathing difficulties amid a suspected chemical incident at the airport (PA)

Dozens of people were treated for breathing difficulties after the "chemical incident" which investigators believe was caused by CS gas or spray.

Around 500 passengers and staff were ordered to leave the terminal following an alarm just after 4pm on Friday.

Two casualties were taken to hospital and 25 were treated at the scene for breathing difficulties after the incident, the London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

All flights to and from the airport were halted during the investigation and some incoming planes had to be diverted to other airports.

David Morris was at the check-in desk for his BA flight to Edinburgh when he began coughing.

"We were queuing up and we were just about to check our bags in, and I was talking and started to cough to the point I was not able to keep talking," the 28-year-old told the Press Association.

"It was getting quite bad and we saw other people starting to cough at the same time. The people behind the desk were coughing the most and quite aggressively.

"Within two minutes, they shouted for everyone to get out."

Mr Morris said BA staff behind the check-in desk jumped over to escape, calling the situation "quite scary". He said that whatever was causing people to cough did not smell or have any colour to it.

Later emergency services said no "elevated readings" were found in the terminal building, which was ventilated and searched.

The incident was "declared safe" by the brigade at around 7pm.

The arrested man has since been released on bail until late November, Scotland Yard said.

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