Brussels Airport evacuated for 90 minutes after discovery of a suspicious package; Qatar Airways flight forced to return to Brussels

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Brussels Airport main building © André Orban

Belgian federal police discovered a piece of suspicious baggage at Brussels airport and decided to evacuate passengers from the two departure halls (1 and 2), as well as from the neighbouring Skyhall used as a vaccination centre for the three municipalities located close to the airport.

The police blocked the various accesses to the airport and the army demining service (DOVO/SEDEE) descended on the spot.

A passenger on Qatar Airways flight QR194 from Brussels to Doha, Qatar, was identified as the owner of the luggage. The aircraft, an Airbus A350-900 (registered A7-ALM), was forced to return to Brussels.

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The alert was lifted at the end of the afternoon, after 1 hour and 15 minutes, after DOVO/SEDEE confirmed it was a false alarm. However, some departures were delayed for up to 2 hours maximum, said Nathalie Pierard, the spokesperson for the airport. No flight has been cancelled, but “it will take the whole evening to catch up with the delays,” added the spokesperson.

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