Tuesday 19 November 2019

Schiphol security alert is a false alarm, military police alerted by mistake

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A major security scare at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Wednesday evening has turned out to be a false alarm.

Military police said shortly after 7pm they were investigating a situation which, Dutch media reported, involved an Air Europa flight due to leave for Madrid at 19.10.

Pier D was closed to all passengers and prime minister Mark Rutte said he was being kept in touch with developments. Dutch media also reported that a member of the crew had pressed the button to report a hijacking, sparking the security scare.

Shortly after 8.30pm, the military police issued a new message stating that ‘passengers and crew are safely out out of the plane’. ‘The investigation is continuing at the location,’ the Twitter message said.

It then soon transpired that the incident was a false alarm and that the pilot had pressed the emergency code by accident. In line with airport protocol, the emergency services were then alerted.

‘We deeply apologise’, Air Europa said on Twitter.

Among the rumours circulating on social media were that three men armed with knives were on the plane, that heavily-armed special service police officers had boarded the plane to evacuate the passengers and that Utrecht central railway station had also been evacuated because of a security issue.

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