Hundreds of people were evacuated from Hamburg airport after a gas leak

Air traffic is resuming at Hamburg Airport in Germany, after the airport was evacuated and all flights halted for several hours.

Hundreds of passengers at Hamburg airport were evacuated by German firefighters after an unidentified hazardous substance possibly released via the air-conditioning system caused various injuries to more than 50 persons. Firefighters said 68 people suffered problems including eye irritation and breathing difficulties.

Instead, he said, the injuries most likely stemmed from a cartridge containing irritant gas that was found in the bin provided for travelers to dispose of liquids before boarding.

Special areas were available outside of the airport where passengers who were not directly affected but had symptoms of exposure could be examined.

Authorities said they ruled out an act of terrorism, DPA added.

Lightly dressed passengers were rushed outside the terminal but were allowed back in shortly after, a police spokeswoman said.

Terminal 1 and 2 were then evacuated and hundreds of passengers had to wait outside at nearly below zero temperatures. "The fire department didn't detect any unsafe substances".

"The airport was completely closed" at around 1130 GMT, said Mr Maik Lewerenz from the federal police office at the airport, before it was reopened at 1245 GMT.

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