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London City airport briefly evacuated after 'chemical scare'

500 passengers were evacuated from the London City airport after a suspected 'chemical incident' left 26 with breathing difficulties. Photograph: (AFP)

WION London, United Kingdom Oct 21, 2016, 06.47 PM (IST)

Hundreds of passengers and staff were evacuated from the London City airport on Friday after an apparent chemical incident. 

London's fire brigade lead the emergency response to the incident that left 26 travellers feeling unwell. Two of the passengers were taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. 

The airport had been declared safe after emergency services conducted a thorough sweep of the premises and found no evidence of a suspected chemical incident. 

"Two complete sweeps of the airport building were carried out jointly by firefighters and police officers both wearing protective equipment," the fire bridge said.

"No elevated readings were found and the building was ventilated, searched and declared safe," it added.

A "hazardous area response team" had also been sent to the airport in east London, which is primarily aimed at business travellers.  

"Three fire engines and a range of specialist appliances have been called to reports of a chemical incident at London City Airport this afternoon," the London fire brigade said in a statement. "At this stage we are there in support of the London Fire Brigade," a police spokesman said.

Flights in and out of the hub were shut down briefly following the scare. Several incoming flights from destinations such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris had been diverted to other airports.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

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