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Plane returns to Gatwick after part falls off

A passenger jet was forced to return to Gatwick Airport part-way through its flight to Egypt after a part plunged to the ground.

Library photo Credit: Press Association

Thomas Cook Flight TCX1638 left the West Sussex airport at 9am this morning with 237 passengers on board but had to turn back a short time into its flight to Hurghada.

The object is believed to have fallen from the plane near the Kent and East Sussex border, but it was not until the jet was over Belgium that the fault was reported.

None of the passengers were injured after the over wing slide unit plummeted, which led to a probe by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) being launched.

A Kent Police spokesman said:

"Kent Police was called at 11.15am to reports of an object falling from an airplane above the Langton Green and Groombridge area.

"Officers are trying to locate the object which is believed to have landed close to the Kent and Sussex border. Anyone with information should contact 101."

Whilst airborne, the slide unit has fallen from the aircraft and we are aware that local police have been informed.

The aircraft landed safely at Gatwick Airport and we are now immediately undertaking a full investigation and working with the airline authorities. We'd like to apologise to our customers for the delay to their flight.

– Thomas Cook Airlines

Ebola screening at Gatwick

Gatwick airport Credit: P.A.

Screening for Ebola at Gatwick Airport will begin, say Public Health Enland.

It will start in North Terminal, then checks will begin at South Terminal,

followed by St Pancras (Eurostar) later this week, a spokesman said.

He added: "This expands the screening initiated at Heathrow last week, which

is going well. Manchester and Birmingham airports will follow in the coming

weeks.

"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from

high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive

expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices,

emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from

this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate

additional measures."

The screening is taking place for passengers that Border Force officers

identify as having travelled from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.<

Passengers have their temperature taken and complete a questionnaire asking

about their current health, recent travel history and whether they might be at

potential risk through contact with Ebola patients.<

Based on the information provided and their temperature, passengers will either

be given advice and allowed to continue their journey, or undergo a clinical

assessment by PHE staff and if necessary be transferred to hospital for further

tests.

"Screening is being undertaken to help ensure individuals arriving from high-risk areas know what to do if they start feeling ill, and can receive expert advice immediately. We are also providing all general practices, emergency departments, and pharmacies in England with awareness posters from this week. Public Health England will continue to consider other appropriate additional measures."

– Public Health England

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Ebola round-up: how the region is responding to crisis

Army medics are, tonight, preparing to travel to West Africa - to join efforts to stop the deadly Ebola virus spreading.

Teams from Aldershot have been practising in a 'mock' hospital unit to prepare themselves - or at least try to prepare - for what lies ahead in Sierra Leone.

Heathrow and Gatwick airports are getting ready to screen passengers arriving from areas affected by the disease.

Juliette Fletcher has been speaking to families waiting anxiously for news of relatives - and to the fundraisers who want to help.

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Reports British man has died from Ebola as airports start enhanced screenings

A British man who is thought to have contracted Ebola has died in Macedonia, according to a senior government official in the country.

The UK is to begin enhanced screening of passengers from Ebola-affected countries at Heathrow, Gatwick and Eurostar terminals, Downing Street has announced.

Earlier, a top US medical official warned that the epidemic could be the "next Aids" if not contained quickly, while the chief of the World Bank said the future of the African continent could be at stake if the spread is not halted.

It comes after the World Health Organisation reported that the recorded number of deaths from Ebola has almost reached 4,000 worldwide and warned the real number could be more.

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Ebola information posters to go up at British airports

Posters will be placed in UK airports providing information about the Ebola virus, Downing Street has said.

Discussing a meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee this morning, a spokesman for Number 10 said further advice had already been issued to medical professionals across the country in regard to the virus.

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies told the committee that detailed contingency planning in place for any outbreak on British soil but maintained that the risk to the UK "remained low", the spokesman said.

New security measures in place at Gatwick Airport

New security measures in place Credit: ITV news

Gatwick Airport is upgrading its road to airside security gates and has introduced a new screening facility. It's aimed at improving detection rates of explosives and other prohibited items which come through the gates and go airside.

New surveillance technology has been installed to check the underside of vehicles in a four lane screening facility. It replaces the mirror of stick approach and security staff say it will allow vehicles to access airside more effectively and efficiently.

Police community support officer jailed for tricking Gatwick passengers

A former police community support officer who stole thousands of pounds by tricking passengers at Gatwick Airport into thinking they were carrying too much cash has been jailed for six and a half years.

Alexis Scott approached departing travellers as they were about to go through the final gate at the airport and asked how much money they were carrying.

She convinced some that they were carrying more than the maximum amount allowed and 'confiscated' the balance, before reassuring her victims they could claim it back when they returned.

The 39-year-old then placed the money under her uniform hat and headed back to the police station.

The scam was uncovered when returning passengers began asking airport officials for their money back.

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