Se­cu­rity scare at air­port

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A MAN is in cus­tody af­ter a se­cu­rity scare that forced the emer­gency evac­u­a­tion of Cairns Air­port last night amid re­ports he had doused him­self in petrol and threat­ened to set him­self on fire.

Hun­dreds of pas­sen­gers were ush­ered from the ter­mi­nal via a loud­speaker an­nounce­ment af­ter re­ports of an emer­gency sce­nario about 5pm.

Jour­nal­ist Jonathan Holmes was at the air­port and told ABC Ra­dio that all pas­sen­gers were cleared out amid re­ports some­one had threat­ened to set them­selves alight.

“My wife had gone in be­fore me ( and) she said one woman told her she’d seen some­one pour­ing petrol all over them­selves and was about to set them­selves alight,” he said.

“How­ever, it looks like that didn’t hap­pen.

“There was a strong smell of petrol but no burn­ing.”

Wit­ness Lucy Karger said it had been a “fren­zied” scene.

“I don’t know what hap­pened but we were in the de­par­ture lounge,” she said.

“I heard a lot of com­mo­tion com­ing from where the se­cu­rity scan­ners are.

“Then we saw a big mob of peo­ple in a fren­zied panic run­ning to­wards us.”

An am­bu­lance spokes­woman con­firmed crews were dis­patched for a “men­tal health mat­ter”, but there were no re­ported in­juries.

A state­ment is­sued by Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice read: “The air­port ter­mi­nal has been evac­u­ated due to the need to clean up flammable liq­uid that has been spilt.”

Trav­eller Raynor Bergsma was left wait­ing for hours for his flight to Perth af­ter be­ing locked out of the ter­mi­nal.

“I heard some guy poured petrol on him­self and ev­ery­body ran,” he said.

Re­ports that threats were made by a man be­fore the in­ci­dent have not been con­firmed.

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