A SECURITY alert on an Edinburgh-bound flight sparked a full evacuation and sniffer-dog search just moments before it was due to take off.

Police, ambulance, and fire crews were called to Belfast International Airport as alarms were raised over a “potential incident” involving an EasyJet flight.

The EZY481 flight arrived at the airport from London’s Stansted shortly after 8.45am on Thursday, and was set to depart towards Edinburgh before the alarm was raised.

Passengers were disembarked from the flight while emergency crews attended the incident.

The exact nature of the incident is not yet known. The flight has since departed and arrived in the capital at 11am – around two hours later than scheduled.

HeraldScotland:

A spokesperson for the airport told Belfast Live: “Belfast International Airport was notified of a security alert regarding a flight to Edinburgh this morning.

“As is standard procedure, the relevant authorities attended the airport as a precautionary measure. All passengers disembarked for additional security checks and have since reboarded and the flight has departed.

“Passenger safety is a priority and we thank all passengers for their understanding.”

An EasyJet statement added: “We can confirm that flight EZY481 from Belfast to Edinburgh this morning was delayed on departure due to additional security checks by the airport authorities, as a precaution only.

“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet's highest priority and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding.”

A spokesperson from Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it was called to a "potential incident" at 8.39am and began to send personnel to the scene.

It's understood they stood down before 9.30am.

A spokesperson for Police Service of Northern Ireland said: "Officers attended Belfast International Airport to provide assistance for Airport Police following an incident on Thursday, January 6."