Sofia airport announcer faces charges over mistaken bomb scare

Employee mistakenly announced that Bulgarian authorities found an explosive device in a van parked outside the airport

Reuters December 03, 2015
A Bulgarian police bomb disposal squad performs a controlled explosion of bags found in a van with Belgian registration plates, parked outside Sofia's main airport, Bulgaria December 1, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SOFIA: An employee at Sofia airport has been sacked and faces criminal charges after mistakenly announcing over the tannoy that Bulgarian authorities had found an explosive device in a van parked outside the airport on Tuesday.

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The airport's chief executive corrected Daniela Veleva's announcement only a few minutes later. "Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated against the airport's employee for spreading false information," Georgi Kostov, the chief secretary of the interior ministry, said on Wednesday.

Police evacuated part of Terminal 1 in Sofia's international airport as officers moved in around the vehicle with Belgian registration plates. They found no explosive devices after checking the luggage, while bomb-disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion on a bag in the van.

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Prime Minister Boiko Borisov criticised the airport officials for creating panic. "I am furious after the irresponsible actions of those who caused panic at the airport," Borisov told local media, calling the airport officials "a bunch of incompetents".


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