Melbourne Airport security scare

STEVE LILLEBUEN
Last updated 07:58 12/05/2014

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A security scare at Melbourne Airport has forced hundreds of passengers out of the Qantas terminal, delaying several flights.

An emergency evacuation of the terminal was ordered just after 7.15pm (9.15pm NZT) on Sunday when someone entered the terminal through an exit, a Qantas spokesman said.

"As a result, we had to evacuate the entire terminal, so everyone could be rescreened by security," he said.

It took more than an hour to send everyone through security for a second time.

At least five domestic flights were delayed due to the security scare, he said. 

Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata was caught up in the incident but managed to make it on to a delayed flight to Sydney.

"The timing was poor (for the security breach) because it's the last flights and everyone is trying to beat the curfew," he said.

"But everyone was pretty calm and understood. I think everyone was pretty patient."

He had earlier taken a photo of the large pack of waiting passengers. "Mayhem at Melbourne airport. Security breach," he tweeted. "Going to be a long night."

Some passengers also complained about missing the finale of Eurovision while others grumbled about the security scare creating a very long ending to Mother's Day.

Another passenger on Twitter wrote: "Passengers standing around with no info or updates on what is going on! Appreciate the emergency evacuation but pls communicate!"

The security scare, however, did not impact on flights at other terminals, said a Melbourne Airport spokeswoman.

An AFP spokeswoman referred calls back to the airport, saying the security breach had not been referred to them to investigate.

Qantas apologised for the delay and spent the night replying to passengers criticising the airline on social media.

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- The Age

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