Troops sent in to deal with Gatwick travel chaos

Troops sent in to deal with Gatwick travel chaos

Troops have been sent in to Gatwick airport to help deal with an unprecedented attempt to cripple Christmas travel after drone activity.

As thousands of passengers waited at Gatwick Airport, police hunted unsuccessfully for the operators of the large drones which reappeared near the airfield every time the airport tried to reopen the runway.

Police said there was no indication of a terrorism motive behind the devices, which first appeared on Wednesday night.

"The assessment earlier on today was that we wouldn't be using firearms," Detective Chief Superintendent Jason Tingley said late on Thursday. "This is continually reviewed so you will know and have seen that we have firearm officers deployed.

The armed forces were also deployed to help resolve the situation.

"We are there to assist and do everything we can," Defence Minister Gavin Williamson told reporters.

Drones were seen as recently as the last hour, a Gatwick spokesman said at about 2200 GMT on Thursday, more than 24 hours after their first sighting.

The airport said flights would remain shut down for the rest of the evening on a day when 115,000 people were scheduled to pass through, many en route to seasonal breaks.

Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman condemned the standoff as "irresponsible and completely unacceptable".

Passenger Ani Kochiashvili had been bound for Georgia but spent six hours overnight sitting on a plane with her children.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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