05/02/2019

Calls For Security Reassurance At Belfast International Airport

A Sinn Fein MLA has demanded "clarity and reassurance" following a violent brawl that broke out in Belfast International airport on Saturday 02 February.

Declan Kearney's comments come days after passengers in the departure lounge were disrupted when a number of men became involved in a fight.

"This was a very disturbing incident that caused great distress to both staff and passengers with violence breaking out within the airport and reports of men attacking each other with metal poles and fire extinguishers," the South Antrim MLA explained.

"There are also conflicting reports about the speed of the police response and whether some of those involved in the violence were subsequently allowed to board flights.

"Given the serious difficulties that have occurred at the airport recently, including the lengthy security delays, it is now incumbent on the airport management to provide clarity on this latest incident and reassurance to passengers and staff that adequate security measures are in place to prevent any repeat of such disgraceful scenes."
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The airport released a fresh statement on Monday evening with their timeline of events, and confirmed that four individuals did not travel following the altercation.

"There has been inaccurate and misleading commentary about the incident that occurred at Belfast International Airport on Saturday evening. For the sake of clarity and accuracy the following is the timeline of events:

18.01- Disturbance commenced

18.02- Airport control alerted

18.03- Airport police tasked to disturbance

18.06- Airport police in attendance

18.07- End of disturbance

"The incident, in its entirety, lasted seven minutes.

"There is an ongoing police investigation into what happened and we would appeal to anyone who captured photographic or video evidence to send to duty.sergeant@bfs.aero. The airport will not tolerate behaviour such as this and takes such incidents very seriously.  

"It acknowledges the concern and upset felt by passengers who witnessed the altercation. No-one was injured and four individuals did not travel. There was insufficient grounds to prevent the remainder of the group from travelling and alcohol was not an issue."



(JG/CM)


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