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Luton Airport to reopen after scare

Luton Airport is to reopen shortly after bomb disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious item.

The airport had been evacuated earlier today with all flights suspended and roads shut following the discovery of a suspicious item in the security search area..

Bedfordshire Police said: "We can confirm that controlled explosion has taken place at Luton Airport. Item is safe. Airport opening soon but there will be delays."

As well as causing flight chaos, with many services either cancelled or diverted, the shutdown led to serious road congestion which spread to the nearby M1.

Hundreds of passengers were left to wait outside the terminal following the evacuation.

EasyJet had to divert six flights and axe 12 others with staff providing refreshments to evacuated passengers waiting in the warm autumn sunshine.

Bedfordshire police added: "The airport is in the process of reopening following a security alert that took place earlier this afternoon.

"Officers were called to the departure terminal at 1.36pm after airport security raised concerns about an item that was passed through a security check in keeping with the airport's policies and procedures."

The police went on: " Members of the public were evacuated from the terminal area as a safety precaution while the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team were called in to undertake the necessary checks required.

"A controlled explosion was conducted at 5.15pm and it was confirmed that the item destroyed, although deemed suspicious, did not present a wider danger.

Bedfordshire Police can confirm that no one has been arrested in relation to this incident."

A spokesman for easyJet said: " As a result of the earlier evacuation, easyJet has taken the decision to cancel the remainder of today's flights to and from Luton Airport.

"In total easyJet has now cancelled 41 flights - 18 from earlier today and the remainder from this evening's programme.

"Six easyJet flights scheduled to land at London Luton Airport were diverted - four to Stansted Airport, one to Birmingham Airport and one to London Southend Airport and all passengers were coached to Luton.

"Passengers who are affected by the cancellations can change their flight or obtain a refund at easyJet.com.

"We have also set up a customer service desk at our office where we will help passengers make any arrangements. We will do all possible to support them including providing hotel accommodation where it is available.

"Whilst this is out of our control we apologise for the inconvenience caused and would like to thank passengers for their patience and co-operation.

"The safety and security of its passengers and crew is the airline's highest priority. We expect operations to return to normal tomorrow morning."

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