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Quote:Security Breach At Heathrow Airport
Updated:18:10, Thursday March 13, 2008
A man with a rucksack has run into the path of an aircraft at Heathrow Airport - sparking a major security alert.

He jumped the perimeter fence shortly after 2pm and was tackled by armed officers on the northern runway.

There was a controlled explosion on the bag and early reports are that no explosives were found.

"The use of the northern runway was temporarily suspended while police dealt with the incident," a BAA Heathrow spokesperson said.

"The incident ended at about 3.50pm when the northern runway came back into full use.

"The southern runway remained fully operational throughout the incident.

"Some short delays have occurred as a result, but we expect to return to normal later this afternoon."

A British Airways spokesman said: "Flights will obviously be disrupted due to the closure of the runway."

Sky correspondent Mark White said the security scare comes ahead of the opening of a new terminal at Heathrow.

"Security is tight, especially with what is happening tomorrow morning with the opening of Terminal 5," he said.

"Her Majesty the Queen will be in attendance to open it and it will be a big day for BAA."

The state of the art new building is a major landmark in the airport's expansion.

However, a spokesman for climate change protest group Plane Stupid denied any involvement.

"What we know is that it was a lone man and he was carrying a rucksack, which is worrying in itself," White said.

"And he was determined to get airside."

He added: "The question the police will want to answer, and answer quickly, is what this man was doing airside."

Scotland Yard said anti-terrorist officers were aware of the incident but it was being dealt with by local police.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "I'm satisfied everything is now being done to ensure security at Heathrow is intact.

"We are determined to protect all passengers and all staff who go through Heathrow and every other airport."

It is the second time in recent weeks security has been breached at the airport.

Protesters walked on to the runway last month and climbed on to a Boeing 777 before unfurling a banner in protest against the airport's expansion.
Latest comments on this story

Security provisions have made it next to impossible for al-Qaeda to board planes with explosive; this may have been a trial run for a suicide bombing against a plane full of passengers taxiing down a runway.