France's Lyon airport halts flights as police chase shuts down runway

Tuesday, 11 Sep, 2018

A dramatic viral video of the incident captures the moment the vehicle hurtled across a field at the airport - sending a cloud of dust into the air - and drove near the runway with police in hot pursuit.

Police said they began pursuing the white Mercedes when it was spotted speeding the wrong way down a nearby highway.

A driver crashed through glass doors at Lyon global airport and sped on to the runway before being chased down by police.

Nobody was injured in the incident, which led to the suspension of all flights in and out of Lyon Saint-Exupery airport, situated in the east of the city.

A video posted online showed the auto smashing into the building with a bang and showed the view afterwards of the smashed doors on either side.

He then smashed into a toll booth and charged across airport land chased by 20 police and gendarmerie cars, motorcyclists and a helicopter.

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A source close to the case said the man suffered from psychiatric problems but did not have a police record.

"Pursued by police, he smashed through Terminal 1 before reaching the runway area", the government prefect's office said in a statement.

The driver eventually abandoned his auto on the airport tarmac and tried to flee on foot but was surrounded by officers and arrested.

The airport's operator said a Twitter that after an "incident" traffic had been suspended until further notice.

The driver, dressed in dark clothing, then abandoned the auto and fled on foot.

He added that auto was "almost certainly stolen", with a source close to the inquiry saying it had Luxembourg license plates.