Belgian police evacuated passengers from two of Brussels Airport's departure halls after discovering a suspicious package. The owner was found to be on a Qatar Airways flight that was already airborne, authorities say. The Qatar Airways flight, QR194 from Brussels to Doha, was forced to return to the airport.
The alert was lifted 1 hour 15 minutes later when it was found to be a false alarm. However, the evacuation prompted airlines to delay flights by almost two hours in some cases, slowing down airport operations for the rest of the day.
No flights were canceled, but as Nathalie Pierard, spokesperson for the airport, said, "it will take the whole evening to catch up with the delays." The evacuation was initiated at 4:00PM local time, and the false alarm was announced at around 6:00PM local time.
Baggage is often found lost at airports, causing many to wonder why this incident specifically prompted an evacuation. A federal police spokesperson told the Brussels Times in response to the event that they simply, "did not want to take any risks."
Since the event, flight schedules have returned to normal and the airport is operating at 100 percent capacity.
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