Dozens of passengers treated after 'chemical incident' at London City Airport

Dozens of passengers treated after 'chemical incident' at London City Airport

Dozens of passengers were treated for breathing difficulties after a suspected chemical incident at London City Airport.

Two casualties were taken to hospital and 24 were treated at the scene, London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.

A spokesman for London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was called to the airport at 4.11pm to "reports of a chemical incident".

No "elevated readings" were found and the terminal building was ventilated and searched.

The incident was "declared safe" by the brigade at around 7pm.

An LFB spokesman said: "Two complete sweeps of the airport building were carried out jointly by firefighters and police officers both wearing protective equipment."

LAS medics specially trained to treat people in hazardous situations also attended the scene.

Around 500 members of the public and airport staff were evacuated.

The closure of the airport led to travel chaos as all flights were suspended.

Several incoming planes from destinations such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Belfast City and Paris were diverted to other airports.

The ambulance service posted a message on Twitter saying they were "very busy" due to the airport incident and urged people to "only call us in a genuine emergency".

A group of Scottish MPs were among the travellers left stranded on the airport's tarmac for more than 90 minutes before being allowed back into the terminal.

SNP MP Calum Kerr said a contingent were travelling back to their constituencies after supporting their party colleague John Nicolson's proposed bill for an automatic pardon for gay men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences, which was not put to a vote.

Mr Kerr told the Press Association: "This is just the perfect end to a day when we've seen democracy let us down and now the transport system has let us down.

"News agencies were reporting a chemical incident, which obviously changed the atmosphere a bit, people are less fraught - it goes from being a pain in the derriere to a case of: 'Is everybody safe? I hope people are okay'."

Passengers were told they could not leave if they had already passed through security, he said, leaving many frustrated that they could not escape the disruption.

One eyewitness, Kat Devine, was stranded in the airport car park, where she said staff had asked if anyone was coughing from chemical inhalation.

The 33-year-old said: "A lot of ambulances showed up to start with, I think there were four or five, and three fire engines, so it was more heavily weighted towards ambulance than fire.

"Everything was fairly casual to start with but people cottoned on quite quickly that it wasn't a fire alarm."