Hamburg airport temporarily closed and evacuated due to bad air scare

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Nine had to be taken to hospital though none were seriously affected by the incident which occurred in an area where passenger luggage is scanned by security staff. A total of 14 flights were cancelled and several planes were diverted. Authorities believe it might have been caused by an unknown "prankster" using the chemical. It is not considered lethal but it might contribute to worsening someone's condition and, in few occasions, leading to death.

Firefighters designated special areas outside the airport building where physicians were examining those injured by the unknown substance.

Schönhardt said there was "no evidence" that the incident was a terrorist attack.

Instead, he said, the injuries most likely stemmed from a cartridge containing irritant gas that was found in the bin provided for travelers to dispose of liquids before boarding.

Lightly dressed passengers were rushed outside the terminal in freezing temperature but were allowed back in shortly after. According to Euronews, which cited local media, the problem was reportedly caused by the air conditioning system.

A spokeswoman for the airport said flights had resumed as of 12.45pm Irish time.