Lyon airport closed after car smashes through terminal onto runway

By

A man was arrested on Monday after driving a Mercedes saloon into a terminal building at the airport serving Lyon, France's second-largest city, and then speeding onto the runway area chased by several police cars and an overhead helicopter before he was wrestled to the ground when attempting to flee on foot.

This article is freely available. Check out our subscription offers. Subscribe

Flights at a major French airport were halted on Monday as police arrested a man who smashed his car through the perimeter fence and reached the runway, reports The Guardian.

Officers chased and reportedly shot at a silver grey Mercedes that had driven for several miles up the wrong way of a nearby motorway, causing several accidents. The car rammed through a toll booth before forcing its way into the Saint-Exupéry airport at Lyon.

A witness filmed the car bouncing over an embankment before coming to a halt. The driver ran off, chased by police vehicles.

Following the security breach on Monday, the airport was immediately closed and flights halted.

About 20 police and gendarmerie cars, motorcyclists and a helicopter joined the chase as the car entered the airport and headed for the runway.

Police at the scene said the situation was “complicated” while witnesses reported scenes of chaos at the airport.

A spokesperson for the Rhône prefecture said: “Around 10.30 this morning an individual travelling in the wrong direction on the A43 motorway was pursued by members of the motorway CRS [police] and a helicopter from the Gendarmerie Nationale.

“Arriving at the Lyon-Bron airport, he forced his way through the security barriers before heading towards the airport of Lyon Saint-Exupéry where again, he forced the security barriers with his vehicle.

“Followed by the forces of law and order, he drove into Terminal 1 with his car before getting to the runway, where he was overpowered by those forces and arrested.”

The Mercedes smashed into two glass doors next to the entrance to the main terminal. The driver then crossed the tarmac, passed the aircraft and began driving towards fields along the runway.

See more of this report, with video, from The Guardian.

 

 

Extend your reading on Mediapart Unlimited access to the Journal free contribution in the Club Subscribe