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130 flights cancelled at Munich Airport after Spanish man skips security check

Part of Munich’s airport was evacuated on Tuesday morning after a Spanish man bypassed the security control, causing the cancellation of 130 incoming and outgoing flights.

130 flights cancelled at Munich Airport after Spanish man skips security check
Passengers stand outside of the closed off Terminal 2 on Tuesday morning. Photo: DPA

The man had arrived at the airport, Germany’s second largest, from Bangkok and was on his way back to Madrid, reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung

Prior to an arrival check, he had entered an area of the airport via an emergency exit door where only controlled passengers are allowed, an airport spokesman said.

The federal police then enacted “measures to avert danger” in compliance with EU regulation, it said in a statement, by shutting down Level 5 of Terminal 2 where international flights with passport control are handled.

As it was not initially clear whether the man had then travelled to Terminal 1 by bus, parts of this terminal were also shut down, said police.

Yet the man was “relatively quickly” found and asked to retrace his steps before parts of the airport could reopen, according to police. 

Terminal 1 was reopened around 10:45am and at Terminal 2 at 11:20am after passengers were asked to check in again.

A list of affected flights at Munich Airport on Tuesday morning. Photo: DPA

Flights impacted

A total of 130 outgoing and incoming flights were cancelled, said the airport in a statement. By noon, around 7,500 passengers had been affected by cancellations, reported the reported the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Most were domestic flights, such as those to Berlin, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, and Berlin.

However, the airport did not provide any clear information about the number of delays on Tuesday, but encouraged passengers to check their flight status throughout the day.

On Tuesday, a total 1,200 take-offs and landings were planned. On average, 120,000 passengers travel through the airport per day during the busy summer holidays.

In the morning, some of the 5,000 people waiting outside of Terminal 2  complained on Twitter about not receiving any information at the affected terminals at Munich Airport.

Passengers also took to twitter to complain that there was no water stations around as they waited for the terminals to be reopened. The airport responded by handing out bottled water.

Not the first time

This isn’t the first time an airport shut-down has left passengers in the lurch. At the start of the 2018 summer holidays, the police also closed Terminal 2 of Munich Airport because a 40-year-old woman had passed through a security gate without being checked.

A total of 330 flights were cancelled and more than 31,000 passengers were affected throughout the weekend. The damage amounted to millions of euros.

Following the incident, Munich Airport voluntarily distributed nearly 6,000 €50 vouchers to passengers.

However, the regional court in Erding ruled last year that airlines are not obliged to pay compensation if passengers are unable to fly due to an anti-terrorism measure.

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IN IMAGES: Spain’s ‘scrap cathedral’ lives on after creator’s death

For over 60 years, former monk Justo Gallego almost single-handedly built a cathedral out of scrap materials on the outskirts of Madrid. Here is a picture-based ode to his remarkable labour of love.

IN IMAGES: Spain's 'scrap cathedral' lives on after creator's death
File photo taken on August 3, 1999 shows Justo Gallego Martinez, then 73, posing in front of his cathedral. Photo: ERIC CABANIS / AFP

The 96-year-old died over the weekend, but left the unfinished complex in Mejorada del Campo to a charity run by a priest that has vowed to complete his labour of love.

Gallego began the project in 1961 when he was in his mid-30s on land inherited from his family after a bout of tuberculosis forced him to leave an order of Trappist monks.

Today, the “Cathedral of Justo” features a crypt, two cloisters and 12 towers spread over 4,700 square metres (50,600 square feet), although the central dome still does not have a cover.

He used bricks, wood and other material scavenged from old building sites, as well as through donations that began to arrive once the project became better known.

A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A woman prays at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The building’s pillars are made from stacked oil drums while windows have been cobbled and glued together from shards of coloured glass.

“Recycling is fashionable now, but he used it 60 years ago when nobody talked about it,” said Juan Carlos Arroyo, an engineer and architect with engineering firm Calter.

Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid.
Men work at the Cathedral of Justo on November 26, 2021 in Mejorada del Campo, 20km east of Madrid. Photo: (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

The charity that is taking over the project, “Messengers of Peace”, hired the firm to assess the structural soundness of the building, which lacks a permit.

No blueprint

“The structure has withstood significant weather events throughout its construction,” Arroyo told AFP, predicting it will only need some “small surgical interventions”.

Renowned British architect Norman Foster visited the site in 2009 — when he came to Spain to collect a prize — telling Gallego that he should be the one getting the award, Arroyo added.

Religious murals on a walls of Justo's cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Religious murals on a walls of Justo’s cathedral. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The sturdiness of the project is surprising given that Gallego had no formal training as a builder, and he worked without a blueprint.

In interviews, he repeatedly said that the details for the cathedral were “in his head” and “it all comes from above”.

Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Builders work on the dome of the Cathedral of Justo on November 26th. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

The complex stands in a street called Avenida Antoni Gaudi, named after the architect behind Barcelona’s iconic Sagrada Familia basilica which has been under construction since 1883.

But unlike the Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of Justo Gallego as it is known is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a place of worship.

Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral's completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
Visit gaze at the stained glass and busts in of the cathedral’s completed sections. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

‘Worth visiting’

Father Angel Garcia Rodriguez, the maverick priest who heads Messengers of Peace, wants to turn Gallego’s building into an inclusive space for all faiths and one that is used to help the poor.

“There are already too many cathedrals and too many churches, that sometimes lack people,” he said.

“It will not be a typical cathedral, but a social centre where people can come to pray or if they are facing difficulties,” he added.

A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
A photo of Justo Gallego Martinez on display at his cathedral following his passing. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)
 

Father Angel is famous in Spain for running a restaurant offering meals to the homeless and for running a church in central Madrid where pets are welcome and the faithful can confess via iPad.

Inside the Cathedral of Justo, volunteers continued working on the structure while a steady stream of visitors walked around the grounds admiring the building in the nondescript suburb.

“If the means are put in, especially materials and money, to finish it, then it will be a very beautiful place of worship,” said Ramon Calvo, 74, who was visiting the grounds with friends.

FIND OUT MORE: How to get to Justo’s Cathedral and more amazing images

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