Terminal at London Gatwick Airport evacuated as ‘precautionary measure’

The north terminal at the UK's Gatwick Airport has been evacuated as a precautionary measure, the airport's Twitter feed said. The second-largest international airport in London said an incident had caused the evacuation.

Police said they arrested a man, who was described as acting “suspiciously” and had discarded an item at the airport. The statement said explosive experts have been called to the airport to investigate.

“We are investigating the circumstances of the incident and it is too early to say what the item may be,” Sussex Police Detective Superintendent Nick May was cited as saying by Reuters.

“However, given the events in Paris ... there is heightened awareness around any such incident and it is best that we treat the matter in all seriousness.”

British airline EasyJet has reportedly moved all flights to the airport’s south terminal as police deal with the ongoing situation.

Flights due to land at Gatwick’s north terminal are also being diverted to the airport’s other runways.

Earlier, images of passengers being led out of the building emerged across social media.

Shuttle buses have been carrying people from the evacuated terminal and extra staff are also being drafted in to help stranded travellers.

It comes as security across Europe has been ramped up in the wake of a string of terrorist attacks in Paris, in which over 120 people have been confirmed killed. French President Francois Hollande blamed the terrorist group Islamic State for the terror strikes in the French capital.