By John Ensor •
Updated: 02 Oct 2023 • 14:35
Chaotic scene outside Gatwick Airport.
Credit: Nobody's sidekick/X
TODAY, thousands of travellers at London Gatwick Airport, specifically the North Terminal, faced unexpected turmoil, following an alarm to evacuate the building.
On Monday, October 2, Gatwick Airport was the scene of turmoil as the public was evacuated following a fire alarm at the busy North Terminal, according to the Mirror.
The sudden alarm led to an immediate evacuation, leaving passengers in a state of confusion. Many described the scene as an ‘absolute shambles’, with a notable absence of information and guidance.
One traveller lamented, ‘Evacuated from Gatwick North just as my breakfast was going to arrive. Absolute shambles here, no information, people just standing about, no sign of any staff. FFS.’
Another voiced their frustration, stating, ‘Fire alarm has been going off for 20 mins. No direction on where to go. No announcement as to what’s happening. Still standing in view of the departure lounge, where the alarm was triggered. Utter disgrace.’
Social media was abuzz with travellers sharing their experiences. Michael Hincks, a sports journalist, captured the moment, sharing, ‘Never too old for an airport first. Whole of Gatwick North Terminal evacuated after a fire alarm.’
He later added, ‘People cheered and clapped the fire alarm ending. Let the scramble back in begin?’ and ‘Back into Gatwick North Terminal we go, past a fire engine. Which I guess is reassuring?’
The disruption wasn’t limited to the evacuation. FlightRadar24, a flight tracking website, indicated that dozens of flights were delayed. Between 11:00 am and the day’s end, 32 departures were listed as delayed, with seven cancellations. While it remains unclear if all delays were directly linked to the fire alarm, the impact was evident.
In response to the chaos, a London Gatwick spokesperson stated, ‘London Gatwick’s North Terminal departure lounge was evacuated for a short time this morning due to a fire alarm being activated. As always, safety and security are our number one priority. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience.’
The airport’s commitment to safety was clear, but for many travellers, the day was marked by confusion and delays.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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