Sofia Airport terminal closed as police check van

Terminal 1 of Sofia Airport was closed to passengers on December 1 as explosives specialists checked a foreign-registered van that had been parked nearby for several hours.

The Interior Ministry said in the mid-afternoon as checks were ongoing that no explosive device had been found in the van.

An hour later, Bulgarian National Radio reported that a controlled explosion of luggage from the van had been carried out. A subsequent Interior Ministry statement after the conclusion of the check said that no explosive devices had been found.

Arriving and departing flights were not affected as none were due at the time that the investigation was conducted.

Earlier, several Bulgarian-language media reports quoted an airport spokesperson as saying that it was suspected that there was an explosive device in the van. Separate reports quoted police sources as saying that a sniffer dog had reacted, indicating the possible presence of explosives. This was contradicted by another airport spokesperson and by the Interior Ministry chief secretary, Georgi Kostov, who said no explosives had been found.

Kostov said that the van fitted a certain risk profile and therefore had been checked. Border Police chief Antonio Angelov was quoted as telling reporters that the van had been driven to the spot at 5am by a man who had left it in the parking area and then “took off”. Angelov said that the final result of the check on the van would be announced.

Reports from the scene said that there was traffic congestion because the movement of cars between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 was blocked by police cars.



The Sofia Globe staff

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