HUNDREDS of passengers travelling through Cork Airport were forced to flee the facility yesterday after a false alarm led to a full-scale evacuation.
At about 11.20am, all staff and passengers in the tourist hub were ordered out of the building when the internal emergency alarm system warned of a security breach.
Staff and passengers – preparing to jet off to destinations like Mallorca, Paris, Tenerife and London – were ordered to leave the building and wait a safe distance away.
A check of all security systems subsequently took place which confirmed that the alarm had been raised in error, the most likely cause being a computer glitch.
And while a spokesperson for the airport was unable to say what caused the crisis, about 15 minutes later staff and passengers were asked to return.
“It was a false alarm. Unfortunately these things happen but no delays were caused to flights as a result of what happened.”
It is not the first time such a situation has occurred at Cork International Airport.
In January 2008, two businessmen attempting to board a flight to Belfast accidentally opened the wrong boarding gate, setting off an emergency alarm.
In July 2007, a more serious incident led to an evacuation after a hoax bomb alert on board a Futura Airways flight from Portugal.
The false alarm occurred when a passenger alerted the cabin crew during the flight to a note inside a magazine claiming a bomb had been planted on board the plane.
The aircraft landed and was quickly evacuated before the airport was closed for a security sweep.
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