Airport security chaos after pilot accidentally triggers hijacking alarm

An airline has apologised after one of its pilots triggered a major security alert at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

A large number of security and emergency services personnel were deployed to the scene after reports that an Air Europa plane had been hijacked early on Wednesday evening.

Many of the airport’s gates were closed while police investigated the “suspicious situation” on the plane, which had been due to depart for the Spanish city of Madrid.

Dutch media reported that a meeting in parliament’s lower house had been suspended due to the alert and some news stories even had details about the weapons brandished by the supposed hijackers.

Security alert at Schiphol Airport regarding an Air Europa plane. Pic: @Colin_Sebastian
Image: The alert was focused on a plane believed to be heading for Madrid. Pic: @Colin_Sebastian

But Spanish-owned Air Europa said half-an-hour later that the whole scare had been a false alarm.

The airline said on Twitter that a pilot had accidentally set off the alarm which “triggers protocols on hijackings at the airport”.

They added: “Nothing has happened, all passengers are safe and sound waiting to fly soon. We deeply apologise.”

Police confirmed just after 7.30pm that passengers and crew had left the plane safely and the airport said that all flights were now running as normal.

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