Leeds Bradford Airport was closed for more than four hours following a security alert.

Bomb disposal specialists were deployed after a suspicious package was discovered and they carried out a controlled explosion on the unknown item.

West Yorkshire Police confirmed they were called shortly after 8pm on Saturday to reports of the package.

Scene at Leeds Bradford Airport following security alert
Scene at Leeds Bradford Airport following security alert

The Air traffic control and main terminal evacuated and dozens of flights were diverted or grounded until the scare was over.

Many were seen circling in the skies with some diverted to Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and East Midlands.

At the height of the drama witness and photographer Joe Burke, 18, from Horsforth, told the Examiner: “I live about five minutes from the airport. I’d just finished work and walked in and a family member told me that there was an incident going on at the airport. I went up there.

“Security staff were turning people away about 100m from the entrance.

RECAP: Leeds Bradford Airport evacuated due to 'security alert'

“I could not see any police officers but I could see police vans. One security staff member said they believe it is not a bomb and is just a suspicious package.”

At about 12:30am on Sunday Leeds Bradford Airport tweeted: “We have now re-opened the terminal and operations have re-started. If you have any flight queries, please contact your airline directly.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "Police were called at 8.09pm on Saturday evening (May 13) to a report of a suspicious package at Leeds Bradford Airport. 

"Following established procedures to protect passenger and public safety a cordon was put in place as a precaution. The airport was closed for a short time whilst the matter was being investigated. 

"Officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team attended and the item was subject to a controlled explosion. 

"The incident is not believed to be malicious or terror-related at this time, enquiries are ongoing."