False evacuation alarm triggers 20 minutes of chaos at Dublin airport
Airline passengers at Dublin airport were left panicked and then bemused on Friday, after an announcement on the public address system told them to evacuate the building, only for staff to say that everything was okay.
The problem occurred at around 6.30am in Terminal 1 of Ireland’s main airport. The PA system repeatedly issued a message telling people that an evacuation was underway.
“Attention please, attention please. We are responding to an alarm activation. Please evacuate this area immediately and follow the directions of airport staff,” it said.
However there was no evacuation; instead, a fault with the PA system had left it stuck on “evacuation mode” and, because of the system fault, airport staff were unable to use the PA system to reassure customers.
The airport tried to reassure people over Twitter, saying: “The system is stuck on evacuation mode. There is NO evacuation of this area. Our sound engineers are currently investigating.”
The fault caused a considerable amount of concern and stress among passengers. One man told Irish news site TheJournal.ie that people were unaware of what was happening: “Chaos in Terminal 1 Dublin Airport due to alarm activation. Staff haven’t a clue what to do as boarding gate area is evacuated.” People also took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.
After the false evacuation announcement continuing for more than 20 minutes, staff eventually solved the problem by simply turning the system off.
Dublin Airport is an international airport serving Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. It is operated by DAA (formerly Dublin Airport Authority). The airport is located 5.4 nmi (10.0 km; 6.2 mi) north of Dublin in Collinstown, Fingal. In 2017, over 29.5 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the airport’s busiest year on record. It is the 14th busiest airport in Europe, and is also the busiest of the state’s airports by total passenger traffic. It has the greatest traffic levels on the island of Ireland, followed by Belfast International Airport, County Antrim.