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Major security alert takes place onboard easyJet flight at Belfast International Airport

A major security alert took place at Belfast International Airport on Thursday morning.

It is understood an incident occurred onboard an easyJet flight which arrived into Belfast from Edinburgh.

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Emergency services at the scene of a security incident at Belfast International Airport on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Emergency services at the scene of a security incident at Belfast International Airport on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Emergency services at the scene of a security incident at Belfast International Airport on Thursday. Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph.

Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene shortly before 9am.

Emergency vehicles surrounded the plane as it landed and was escorted off the runway. Police dog units also boarded the plane.

The PSNI, NIFRS and NIAS were all in attendance.

The incident was stood down at 10.22am.

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A spokesperson for easyJet confirmed that flight EZY481 from Belfast International to Edinburgh 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,” added the company.

Belfast International Airport said it was notified of the security alert and, 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,” said a spokesperson. “Passenger safety is a priority and we thank all passengers for their understanding.”

The NIFRS stated it was called to assist with an incident at 8.34am but no action was required.

The PSNI said officers attended the incident to provide assistance for Airport Police.

Meanwhile, a flight from Belfast was believed to have been grounded after a total of three planes had to be diverted away from Gatwick Airport because of “IT issues” in the air traffic control tower.

Flights from Tampa, Antigua and Belfast are all understood to have been affected by the problems on Thursday morning.

The technical issue in the control tower, which has now been resolved, meant that flights were unable to take off or land at the West Sussex airport for some time.

EasyJet said one of its flights had been en route to Gatwick prior to the disruption and was diverted to London Luton Airport.

The airline said the rerouted flight will continue to its original destination.

A Gatwick Airport spokesperson said the diversions were the result of “IT issues in the air traffic control tower this morning”.

They later added: “Earlier IT issues in the air traffic control tower this morning have been resolved and flights are arriving and departing as normal.

"Some flights may still experience delays however and passengers are advised to check their flight status with the airline."

An easyJet spokesperson said: "Whilst this is out of our control, we apologise for the inconvenience caused by the diversion and delays and would like to thank passengers for their patience and co-operation.

"The safety and security of its passengers and crew is our highest priority."


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