Latest on Gatwick Security Alert

Two men have been arrested by police investigating a suspicious van which sparked a major security alert at Gatwick Airport and led to controlled explosions being carried out on it.

The pair were detained after arriving back at the West Sussex airport on an easyJet flight from Palma, Majorca, at around 2pm yesterday, Sussex Police said.

The suspects, both aged 33, were held on suspicion of theft, fraud by false representation, handling stolen goods, causing a public nuisance and money laundering.

Police said the men - one from Enfield, north London, and the other who gave no address - were questioned and then freed on police bail until August 28.

The arrests came days after an alert at the airport's North Terminal short-stay car park was caused by a suspicious van which was apparently dumped there last Wednesday.

Bomb disposal experts who carried out a number of small, controlled explosions to gain access to the van found it posed no terrorist threat and contained old car parts and scrap metal.

Suspicions were first raised about the seemingly well-loaded vehicle as it was higher than the permitted height for the car park. Police said it would have required someone to lift the maximum headroom barrier that guards the entrance.

Alarm bells were further raised when routine checks found the van to be unregistered, untaxed and uninsured. And then a check with the firm whose name was on the van showed it had disposed of it six months ago.

Police called an explosive ordnance disposal unit to make a closer inspection and a pre-planned response swung into action involving airport operators, ambulance and fire services.

But when the small blasts allowed investigators to take a look inside the van, nothing sinister was discovered and resources and restrictions were stood down.

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