Gatwick Airport on high alert after arrest of Frenchman charged of carrying firearms

15 November 2015 (Last Updated November 15th, 2015 18:30)

Gatwick Airport in the UK has tightened up its security following the arrest of a Frenchman from Vendome charged for carrying a knife and an air rifle.

gatwick

Gatwick Airport in the UK has tightened up its security following the arrest of a Frenchman from Vendome charged for carrying a knife and an air rifle.

The suspect, Jerome Chauris, was arrested by the Sussex police and is due to appear at the Crawley Magistrates' Court today.

This incident, which occurred only hours after the fatal terror attacks in Paris, led to part closure of the airport.

On Saturday morning, the unemployed 41-year-old man was spotted disposing of a suspicious item in a bin in the 'landside' of the airport.

The North terminal was immediately evacuated to ensure safety of the thousands of passengers.

"Personal items and what appears to be a firearm were recovered and have been removed for forensic examination."

Detective superintendent Nick May was quoted by media sources as saying: "However, given the events in Paris on Friday evening, there is heightened awareness around any such incident and it is best that we treat the matter in all seriousness."

Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists were summoned to carry out a controlled explosion and officers said the evacuation was "for the protection of the public".

Sussex Police said: "Personal items and what appears to be a firearm were recovered and have been removed for forensic examination. However, the viability of the weapon has yet to be established."

Following this alert, operation at the north terminal was halted for six hours though the South terminal functioned without disruption.

Passengers at he airport were requested to check in to the nearest hotels or to return to their homes until the terminal resumes its operations.

The European transportation industry has been put on high alert following the terror attack on Paris on Friday, further tightening the security measures at airports, railway stations and other transport hubs.

Travellers are warned to expect delays to ensure their safety.


Image: Gatwick's North Terminal building and transit station. Photo: courtesy of Dbx54 via Wikipedia.