Trouble continues to haunt London's Gatwick Airport: Tens of thousands of passengers were evacuated from the northern part of the airport on Monday following a fire warning. The evacuation caused huge chaos, after only last week there were many flight cancellations due to the outbreak of COVID-19 among air traffic controllers at the airport's control tower.
Many passengers who were at the airport when the warning went off claimed that the airport management evacuated them without giving them precise information about what happened. "People were standing outside not knowing what was going on", "there was no sign of any crew members", "complete confusion was created and a lot of equipment was destroyed, there was no sign of the crew to instruct the passengers what to do", some told British media. However, the complainants expressed great joy after all passengers were called back to the port 20 minutes after being evacuated.
A lot of mess. Passengers at the airport, photo: Reuters
The airport management apologized for the "major inconvenience" and said it was preparing for no passengers to miss boarding the plane. However, flight tracking website FlightRadar24 showed that there were 32 flight delays and 7 cancellations during the day at Gatwick, although it is unclear if all of these delays are related to the fire alert.
In response to the complaints, a port spokeswoman said: "The departure lounge of the North Terminal has been evacuated due to a fire alarm. What was important to us was the safety and security of passengers, this was our top priority at the time, and we apologize to passengers for any inconvenience caused to them during the incident."
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