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Thousands hit by travel chaos after bomb scare at airport

THOUSANDS of airline ­passengers suffered travel chaos after dozens of flights were grounded or diverted due to a bomb scare at Scotland's busiest airport.

DELAYED: Passengers faced disruption after flights were halted.
DELAYED: Passengers faced disruption after flights were halted.

The disruption, which lasted for most of the afternoon and early evening, saw about 100 people evacuated from Edinburgh Airport after the discovery of a suspicious package in the ­terminal's security area at around 1.50pm yesterday.

Flights to the capital from Amsterdam, Brussels and London landed at Glasgow Airport, and one Ryanair flight from Tenerife was sent to Prestwick in South Ayrshire.

Police erected a 300-foot cordon around the site and bomb disposal experts moved in to examine the bag. However, no terrorist threat was found and the package was deemed safe.

Traces of explosives were ­understood to have been detected inside the bag as it went through screening in the departures baggage hall. The bag's owner was taken away for questioning, but police said there were no arrests.

Travellers are expected to face more disruption today after the closure left many planes out of place.

An Edinburgh Airport ­spokesman said it was working with airlines to minimise the disruption.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said there had been an "extensive investigation with police and authorities" and added: "We know this causes huge disruption and upset to people.

"We have done our best to mitigate that and make people as comfortable as possible in the circumstances but it's a cold wet day in Edinburgh. There's limited facilities when the terminal is shut and we just want to make sure people can now get away on their travels as best as possible."

Delays and diversions ­continued throughout the day and no flights departed before 8pm, despite the airport beginning to reopen shortly after 5pm.

People stranded outside the terminal took shelter at the nearby Hilton Hotel, where staff offered them hot drinks.

Anne Miller, 60, and husband Alec, 64 from Edinburgh, had been hoping to board a flight to Malaga, Spain. Instead they were ushered out of the complex.

Speaking during the disruption, she said: "We walked up the escalator and everyone was coming down. We got to the top and were told to go right back down.

"We were told there was something happening in the security centre so we were then ushered to the hotel next to the airport, but it was full. We then got to the Royal ­Highland Centre. If we knew there was another flight then we would stay. I don't know what we're going to do now."

Students Holly Andrews, 20, and Aziz Mulla, 21, from Dundee, had travelled to Edinburgh to go on holiday in Malaga.

Miss Andrews said: "People have not been told what was happening. We thought it was a terrorist attack."

Carlos Martinez, 25, travelling on a Ryanair flight from Alicante, landed in Edinburgh yesterday.

Mr Martinez said: "We were waiting in the runway for about half an hour, and eventually the pilot spoke over the PA and said we were going to have to wait for a while. We were waiting for about two hours on the plane before we eventually got off.

"We were let into the terminal, but only to passport control, and alarms were going off non-stop."

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