Pepper gas causes chaos in Hamburg Airport, Germany

Passengers outside Hamburg airport

Hamburg Airport in Germany was briefly evacuated earlier today as over 68 people experienced breathing difficulties after an irritant gas was been released into the air. Firefighters were examining them to find out whether they had to be taken to the hospital, the German news agency dpa reported. Authorities still are working to determine how it got into the airport's air conditioning system, the statement said.

"The terminals and the Airport Plaza had to be evacuated for around one hour". In a series of tweets, Hamburg Airport said: "In central security control, about 50 employees and passengers complained of nausea". They claimed to suffer from burning eyes and breathing problems.

An unknown substance was later found in the security check area, Reuters quoted a police spokeswoman as saying.

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"The airport was completely closed" at around 12:30 p.m. local time, said Maik Lewerenz of the federal police office at the airport said.

According to live flight tracking website flightradar24.com some flights were diverted to other airports after the incident.

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