Thousands of passengers using Bristol Airport are facing possible delays after the busy transport hub was evacuated due to a fire alert.
Pictures from the scene show large crowds gathered outside the airport’s entrance in freezing conditions after a smoke alarm was set off on Sunday morning.
Passengers were forced to wait outside while firefighters rushed to investigate following the alert in the departure lounge at about 6.15am.
The airport has since been reopened, but staff warned customers they could face delays throughout this morning as furious travellers complained of “massive queues”.
Airport staff said those who had cleared security at the transport hub would have to be rechecked, which would likely lead to further delays to flights.
One angry passenger wrote on Twitter: “All airside people ended up back before security. Surely you have procedures for a fire alarm?”
Another added: “Security and departure lounge are evacuated. Massive queues. People pushing in.”
The airport tweeted: “The departure lounge was evacuated this morning after a smoke alarm activation.
“The all clear has now been given and passengers are returning to the terminal.
“Delays to flights this morning are likely as some passengers will need to be rechecked at security.”
The fire alert was later confirmed to be a false alarm, the airport said in an updated statement.
It said: “Thanks to all passengers for their patience this morning after a false alarm required the departure lounge to be evacuated.
“Keep warm while we work with the airlines to get you on your way as soon as possible.”
More than 480,000 passengers used Bristol Airport in January on nearly 5,000 flights.