Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 April 2019

New Zealand’s Dunedin Airport closed after ‘suspicious package’ found

Specialist teams were deployed to determine the nature of the package

Police look on as locals lay flowers and condolences at the Huda Mosque in tribute to those killed and injured at the Al Huda Mosque on March 16, 2019 in Dunedin. Getty
Police look on as locals lay flowers and condolences at the Huda Mosque in tribute to those killed and injured at the Al Huda Mosque on March 16, 2019 in Dunedin. Getty

New Zealand police closed Dunedin Airport late on Sunday after a suspicious device was reported on the airfield as the country remains on high alert after the worst mass shooting in its history.

"Dunedin Airport is currently closed" a statement said. "Police are at the scene and specialist teams have been deployed to determine the nature of the package."

New Zealand is in a state of shock after a gunman, who is believed to have lived in Dunedin, killed 50 people in two mosques filled with worshippers.

An Air New Zealand staff member on the scene, who was not authorised to speak to the press, told Agence France-Presse the terminal building had not been evacuated.

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Details of the incident remained unclear but New Zealand media outlets reported that the device was discovered in an out building at the airport.

Only a handful of flights were due to arrive at the airport in the south-eastern city, as the scare came in late evening. Staff remaining at the airport were sent home.

According to flight tracker Flightaware, Air New Zealand flight 691 from Wellington had been circling over the city for almost an hour before being forced to return to its origin.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reported State Highway 86, the main road leading to the airport, had been closed.

Updated: March 17, 2019 03:47 PM

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