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Manchester airport alert - Stafford photographer's eyewitness account

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

  • Paul Milgate's picture of the Qatar plane

  • Paul Milgate's picture of the Qatar plane

  • Travellers watch the drama unfold

  • Photographer Paul Milgate, left, and a pal on their way to Kos

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A STAFFORD photographer told the Newsletter this afternoon how he watched fighter jets escort a Qatar airliner into Manchester airport after a security alert

Paul Milgate arrived at the Manchester this lunchtime on his way to a holiday in Kos – and soon after his arrival found the airport pitched into chaos.

“The whole place has been in lock-down,” he said. “We were looking out of the widow and saw the plane circling with a fighter escort, and then come in to land.

“There were police there and they brought mobile steps up to the plane – but they didn’t even wait for them to lock into place. Police officers jumped the gap between the top of the step and the plane doors and rushed inside.

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“The word among the holidaymakers waiting here is that someone on board the flight handed the pilot a letter and he then raised the alarm.”

Mr Milgate said travellers watching the drama unfold had remained calm.

“People realise that the police are doing this to keep us safe. In the current international climate no-one wants them taking changes.”

He said passengers had been informed that the airport would resume some flights shortly, though a full reopening might take some hours.

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