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French airports evacuated after spate of bomb threats and security alerts

A French soldier patrols at the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Blagnac, southwestern France, on October 18, 2023
A French soldier patrols at the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in Blagnac, southwestern France, on October 18, 2023 Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Euronews with Agencies
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Although passengers have been let back into the terminals, several of the airports are experiencing ongoing delays to arriving and departing flights.

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Seven airports in France have been evacuated following a string of security alerts on Wednesday.

Airports in Lille, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse, Beauvais, and Lyon's Bron airport all received "threats of attack" via email police said. 

A spokesperson for Strasbourg airport also said that it was being evacuated after receiving "a malicious e-mail".

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the French Civil Aviation Authority DGAC confirmed "bomb threats" and "terminal evacuations" at a number of airports. 

Although flight operations have now resumed, DGAC's online dashboard shows that Toulouse-Blagnac, Lille-Lesquin and Beauvais-Tillé were experiencing delays of up to two hours on flights arriving and departing.  

Incoming flights redirected

Air traffic controllers warned airlines on Wednesday morning that Toulouse, Lille and Beauvais were "not available for safety reasons," and three flights due to land in Lille were diverted to Brussels, Ostend and Paris Charles de Gaulle instead, according to online flight monitoring site FlightRadar24.

At Lyon's smaller second airport Bron, located just east of the city centre, traffic has resumed and the security alert is over. Local officials said it was a false alarm and reminded the public that communicating false information can lead to prison and a heavy fine.

In Toulouse, the terminal was evacuated and flight operations disrupted; while in Nantes a thousand passengers were evacuated from the terminal; while in Lille the terminal was evacuated mid-morning, although officials there said Wednesday was "not a very busy day." 

The airport alerts are the latest in a series of evacuations around France this week that included popular tourist attractions the Louvre Museum and Versailles Palace following the killing of a teacher in the northern city of Arras last Friday. 

All the threats have so far proved to be false alarms. 

France has raised its threat alert to its highest level.

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