Men sought following major alert at Gatwick

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Sussex Police is trying to trace two men who sparked a major alert when they pushed up a barrier to enter a Gatwick Airport car park and then abandoned their vehicle.

Police were called to the North Terminal short-stay car park at 2.40pm yesterday (Wednesday May 1) when an untaxed, uninsured, unregistered blue Renault van was left there.

A check with the company whose name was on the van revealed that they had disposed of it six months ago.

The circumstances were enough to raise suspicions and bomb disposal experts were called in at 5pm.

Several controlled explosions were carried out between 7 and 8.30pm to gain access to the van and a police spokesman said “nothing of concern” was found in the vehicle.

Inspector Gary Medland from Gatwick Police said: “We are aware that the closure of the car park caused some disruption to people travelling to and from the North Terminal by vehicle, but this was a most unusual event and the safety of those visiting and working at the airport must take priority.

“However, working with the airport operator we were able to ensure that other areas of the airport were, in the main, unaffected by the incident and flights continued as normal.

“There is nothing to link the vehicle with terrorist activity and there is a strong possibility that the two men dumped the van as they headed for a flight.

“Enquiries are under way to establish whether this was the case and we are obviously very keen to talk to the men involved.

“I should like to thank everyone affected while the incident was dealt with and also our colleagues at Gatwick Airport and the other blue light services for their assistance.”