Passengers at Sydney Airport were asked to evacuate the facility’s Terminal 1 on Wednesday afternoon after a fire in the security screening area. The cause of the blaze is said to have originated from a battery from a robot belonging to a passenger who had attended a robotics conference in the city.
Passengers at Sydney Airport (SYD) were asked to evacuate after a fire broke out in the facility’s Terminal 1 area on Wednesday afternoon, The Daily Mail reports. According to the outlet, the fire began close to the airport’s security screening area.
The fire is reported to have originated from a robot that was being taken through the checkpoint by a passenger who was being screened. The traveler, who The Australian reports had been attending a robotics seminar in the city, was asked by security staff to remove the battery that powered the robot.
In doing so, it is said that they cut the wrong wire and dropped the lithium polymer battery, which then began to smoke.
Firefighters were called to the terminal to put out the blaze, which was soon extinguished.
Offering an eyewitness account, passenger Tara Mooney said, “We couldn’t see a fire but we could smell it. Police and security started pushing people back about 25-30 meters towards the McDonalds in the terminal.”
The incident was confirmed by authorities at the airport and passengers, who did experience some delays, were reprocessed.
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