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14th Nov 2015

French man arrested by police at Gatwick Airport after ‘gun dropped in a bin’

Police are questioning the man...

Ben Kenyon

Thousands of people were evacuated from Gatwick Airport after a man was allegedly spotted ‘dropping a firearm into a bin’.

Police and airport staff ordered crowds to leave the North Terminal building on Saturday morning over the security alert in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

A 41-year-old French man was arrested at the airport and Sussex Police said “what appears to be a firearm” was discovered.

Bomb disposal teams were drafted in and carried out a controlled explosion at the scene after a firearm was discovered, according to Huffington Post.

A man, believed to be from Vendôme in France, was being questioned by officers on suspicion of firearms offences.

A statement from Sussex Police said: “Police were called at around 9.30am following suspicious actions by a man who discarded an item in a bin at the airport.

“Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists were called to the airport to investigate the item and carried out a small controlled explosion.

“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.”

Officers said the man was ‘landside’ at the airport and had not checked in or passed through any passport or security checks.”

Detective Superintendent Nick May said: “The man is being interviewed as we try to determine the circumstances of the incident, but at this time it is too early to say what his intentions, if any, were.

“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.

“We are aware that there is concern about what has happened in France, but the general threat level remains the same and people should be aware as usual of anyone acting suspiciously and report any concerns immediately.”