Bomb joke sparks delays for Nordic travellers

Bomb joke sparks delays for Nordic travellers
Police bomb squad at Copenhagen Airport on Wednesday. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP
UPDATED: Two men were arrested for joking about a bomb at one of Scandinavia's busiest airports, which sparked travel delays for passengers on Wednesday.

Danish police arrested two men at Copenhagen Airport after they were overheard discussing a bomb in one of their bags, prompting the evacuation of the terminal, police said.

Officers had responded to a “suspicious situation” at the airport at around 12.30pm and opted to completely evacuate Terminal 3.

Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that two police buses with officers wearing bullet-proof vests appeared at the scene. A police officer within the airport reportedly yelled “everybody get out”, which the newspaper said was followed by panic.

In the meantime, travellers in Terminal 2 said they had been told not to leave the building during the chaos.

However after a 90-minute evacuation, police announced – again on social media – that they had ruled out any danger.

“We are lifting [the alarm] in the airport. There was overheard talk about a bomb. The suitcase was searched. There were no bombs,” they wrote.

Copenhagen Airport is the closest big international airport to southern Sweden and is located less than 15 minutes from Malmö by train, which normally calls at Terminal 3. However, the false bomb alert saw all train traffic to the airport stopped and replacement buses called in.

Meanwhile, Scandiavian Airlines (SAS) moved all its flight check-in to Terminal 2 to be able to continue to operate as normal during the evacuation, although delays were reported.

The two arrested individuals were being questioned by officers as of Wednesday afternoon.

“They said that they were only joking with each other,” police spokesman Steen Hansen told news agency AFP.

“Apparently, they are friends, though one was going to Paris and the other was flying to Frankfurt,” he said.

The identity and nationality of the men was not disclosed.

“Their first explanation is that it was said as a joke, but the police should of course receive a more thorough explanation,” Copenhagen Police spokesman Steen Hansen told Jyllands-Posten.

The incident came just hours after Danish police raised the country's threat level by one notch to the second-highest level, citing the elevated risk of terrorism after Friday's Paris attacks.

Sweden followed later on Wednesday, with the country's security service Säpo raising the terror threat level to “high”.