16 August, 2018

Radioactive alert closes Budapest Airport for three hours on Wednesday

Photo REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo
A radioactive alert caused a terminal at Ferenc Liszt Airport in Budapest Airport to be closed for three hours on Wednesday night. Officials advise that terminal 2B at the airport was shut down between 1930 and 2230 to facilitate a fast investigation into an overheated container carrying a radioactive isotope.

Firemen were seen entering the cargo compartment of a Turkish Airlines aircraft that was parked on the tarmac of Budapest Airport, in Hungary, during the incident that closed the airport. A spokesperson for the Hungarian Disaster Management Authority advised that "Material damaging to health did not get into the environment," adding that "Passengers are perfectly safe."

According to local media reports, the isotope was iridium which had been ordered by a Hungarian company from a firm based in the Russian city of Dimitrovgrad. The container carrying the isotope arrived in Budapest on a Turkish Airlines flight on Wednesday evening from Istanbul.

The passengers and crew of the flight on which the container was carried, nor the passengers and staff at the airport were in any danger according to information from the Disaster Management Authority.  Turkish Airlines has not yet responded to requests for comment.