A passenger taken ill at an airport terminal required airfield firefighters to be diverted to help while crews waiting for paramedics to arrive and take over, the airport says
Planes were left circling unable to land at Manchester Airport after a passenger medical emergency forced it to close for around an hour.
Flights were diverted on Sunday evening after the major international airport temporarily shut to arrivals.
The airport said a medical emergency involving a passenger was behind the closure, as passengers claims it forced queues to back up.
Expert airfield firefighters trained to help with the situation rushed to the passenger’s aid.
Flights had to be paused for around an hour while the specialist crew was diverted away until the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) was able to take over.
A number of arrivals were diverted away from Manchester towards London Heathrow and the East Midlands, while some passengers were reportedly told that their flights from Manchester could not take off, according to the Manchester Evening News.
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Flight tracking website FlightAware showed a number of flights including Ryanair services circling the area, before making their final approach.
The airport reopened just before 10pm, but some claimed the drama had lead to a bottleneck.
One Twitter user who said she was at the airport wrote: “Currently in 1000+ person queue to get through border control… No updates and no staff around?”
Manchester Airport said there had been a medical emergency involving a passenger in the terminal and that required airfield-based fire officers, who had the right training, to attend and support until the situation was taken over completely by the NWAS.
As a result of them being diverted there briefly, the airport was forced to close for around an hour, a spokesperson said.
It comes after a difficult year for Manchester Airport due to the pandemic, with extra Covid-secure measures introduced being blamed for slow services.
Passengers have recently complained at waiting as long as two hours to get through Passport Control and last week an elderly passenger fainted while stuck in a huge queue.
Some airports around the UK have struggled with processing Covid travel measures as huge queues form at border controls.
In recent months a ‘pingdemic’ left staffing levels hollow as airport workers at some of the UK’s biggest terminals were told to isolate by the Covid app before rules changed to free the double-jabbed from the rule.
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