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Security scare at Cologne/Bonn airport

Authorities temporarily halted planes at the Cologne/Bonn airport in western Germany, after a man reportedly bypassed security checks. Police said he had been rushing to catch his Portugal-bound plane.

A 62-year-old passenger temporarily paralyzed the Cologne/Bonn airport on Monday when he entered a security area unchecked, police reported.

The Spaniard told police he was simply trying to find the fastest route to his Faro, Portugal-bound flight. The incident launched a security scare and forced at least five flights to remain in their parked positions.

Flights resumed normally in the afternoon after the airport's Terminal 1 was evacuated and passengers were examined. Around 2,500 passengers were affected. DW reporter Elizabeth Schumacher reported from the scene.

The airport said that traffic had not been stopped altogether, saying Terminal 2 services had continued.

The decision to stop flights was taken after a person reportedly went around security checks.

Cologne newspaper, the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger" also reported on its website that Germany's interior ministry had set up a crisis panel to look into the matter.

A similar incident occurred in March this year when a woman circumvented security, leading to an evacuation of the airport's other terminal. Around 1,000 passengers were affected by the ensuing delays.

The Cologne/Bonn aerodrome is Germany's sixth-largest in terms of traffic, handling over 9 million passengers every year, according to the website koeln.de. It is Germany's second largest in terms of freight transport.

rs, mg/msh (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)