- Several people in the security area, where the passenger's hand luggage is checked, complained of nausea, breathing difficulties and eye irritation
- Air traffic was stopped from 12.32 to 13.45 as fire fighters investigated
- Police confirmed a suspicious toxin was dicovered in the aiport airways
- The incident comes a day after a suspicious bottle filled with liquid and covered in foil was discovered unattended at the airport
- Hundreds of passengers were forced to wait outside in -1 degrees as enquiries continued
- The airport has now reopened to passengers
A police spokesman confirmed a suspicious gas or toxin – which is believed to have been pepper spray – was found during a security check after staff and passenegrs complained of irritated eyes and airways.
Reports claim a small irritant gas cartridge was found in a trash can in the security area, sufggesting a passenger or staff member sprayed the gas then disposed of the tin.
Hamburg airport has been evaucated
Unconfirmed reports have also suggested the suspect gas could have streamed into the airport through the air-conditioning system.
The alarm was raised late this morning after several people reported smelling nasty odours and complaining of having breathing problems, severe coughing and burning eyes.
Fire crews rushed to the scene along with several rescue cars and extinguishers.
Rescue services quickly evacuated the airport between terminals one and two – sending hundreds of passengers and employees to wait in the opposite parking area in sub-zero temperatures to keep the access roads clear.
Emergency services rushed to the scene
Passengers were evacuated and told to wait in the opposite car park
All flights were initially diverted and grounded – and according to live flight tracking website flightradar24.com some flights were diverted to other airports after the incident.
Airport spokeswoman Karen Stein said: "We have cancelled all flight at least until 2 p.m. (1300GMT) and most parts of the airport have been evacuated."
The cause for the incident was not known, Stein said, "but we're working closely together with the authorities to find out more."
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The environmental services of the fire brigade are currently trying to establish exactly what the substance was – but initial reports claim the gas could have been pepper spray.
A plastic bottle filled with liquid and wrapped in alluminium foil was discovered at the airport
Passengers are now being allowed back in the terminal
The incident comes after it was revealed a plastic bottle filled with liquid and wrapped in alluminium foil was discovered in a rental car in the airport's parking lot yesterday.
The lid of the 2-litre plastic bottle was believed to have been glued shut using tape.
The find was reported Sunday by employees following today's incident and the liquid of the bottle is now under investigation.
Fire crews confirmed 68 people have been treated
Passengers are now being allowed to re-enter Hamburg airport terminals but flight traffic has not yet resumed.
Passenger Vicky Elise tweeted: "Back in the airport but all waiting outside security for it to open."
It is believed at least 68 people have been injured in the incident, with nine of those being taken to hospital.
Local media has also reported the President of Uruguay, who was waiting for a flight, was also affected by the incident.
Firefighters with multiple vehicles stand in front of Hamburg airport as passengers leave the termin
Back in the airport but all waiting outside security for it to open
Passenger Vicky Elise
The fire brigade set up treatment centers for the injured where those affected are being examined physically and taken to hospital if necessary.
Photos from the scene show firefighters analysing equipment in the security area – while another shows passengers surrounded by emergency services staff.
Fire crews rushed to the sceneq
Fire crews rushed to the scene along with several rescue cars
Hamburg is Germany’s fifth biggest airport, handling 16 million passengers a year.
The airport could not immediately be reached for comment.
More to follow…