Essex

Bomb disposal team called to Southend Airport bag of rubbish

Scene of 'suspicious package' at London Southend Airport Image copyright Mark Slemmings
Image caption Passengers were asked to stay in the terminal while the bag was examined by bomb disposal experts

A "suspicious bag" found on a roundabout close to Southend Airport was found to contain just clothes and rubbish, police said.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the airport approach road about 10:40 BST.

The entrance to the airport was closed and passengers arriving at the terminal were told not to leave the site.

Four inbound and outbound flights were delayed for 50 minutes. The police cordon was lifted at about 13:00 BST.

Image copyright William/Geograph
Image caption Essex Police tweeted: "Entrance cordoned @SouthendAirport after discovery of unattended suspicious bag"

Mark Slemmings, who had just arrived at the airport from Barcelona, said: "After clearing immigration we heard that nobody was allowed in or out of the airport.

"I walked as far as I could go, but was stopped by airport staff.

"Once we could leave you could see the cordon and a suitcase looked like it had been exploded with rubbish everywhere."

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "The bag, which had been left on a roundabout near the airport approach road, contained rubbish and old clothes.

"Roads were reopened shortly before 1pm and traffic congestion in the area is expected to clear soon."

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