A New Zealand airport was evacuated after security discovered what they thought was an ‘explosive device’ in a passenger’s luggage.
Passengers and staff members were forced to flee the Christchurch Airport terminal on Thursday morning following the terrifying find.
Many flights were disrupted due to the discovery, with travellers waiting outside the terminal for hours while the incident was investigated.
The chaos started after security officers found what appeared to be an “Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at one of the security screen points at the the airport.
Police are investigating the incident, with The New Zealand Defence Force’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit also attending as a “precaution.”
In a statement Christchurch airport said that the site had since re-opened to the public with flights now resumed.
A spokesperson said: “The incident which has seen the Christchurch Airport terminal evacuated is over.
“Level 1 of the terminal was evacuated soon after 8am after a suspicious item was found at the screening point.
“Police are in charge of the inquiry and say no threats have been made.
“Several flights have been affected and several hundred passengers impacted. The terminal has re-opened and people are re-entering.”
The New Zealand Herald reports that hundreds of people were left stood outside the terminal during the chaos.
One passenger named Lance told the outlet: “We were upstairs in the Koru Lounge and there was an announcement to say evacuate the building immediately. The sirens went off.
“We were waiting for a flight. It was meant to go at 9.10am but I doubt it. It could be a couple of hours.”
A police spokesperson said they had first been made aware at about 8am and that the domestic terminal was evacuated as a precaution.
Officers are now making enquiries and speaking with two people in relation to the incident.
In a statement New Zealand police said earlier: “The item was located in a bag at the screening checkpoint.
“The domestic terminal has been evacuated as a precaution.
“Police are making enquiries and speaking with two people in relation to the incident.
“The New Zealand Defence Force’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit has been notified and will attend as a precaution.”