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Schoolgirls who flew from Gatwick, thought to be heading to Syria, are "smart and determined"

A friend of three missing schoolgirls believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State has described her shock at their actions and called on them to return home.

Atlanta Broadbent, who goes to the same east London school as the girls, has known the trio for several years.

Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and Amira Abase, 15, flew to Istanbul in Turkey on Tuesday.

The three girls met at and travelled from Gatwick Credit: Metropolitan Police

They were really smart, they always turned up to their revision classes, they were determined in what they want to do. It just seems so weird how when they were thinking, it's like, what were they thinking? Individually they are all very close and just determined to do what they want to do. The memories with them, they just seemed so happy, we wouldn't think that they were going to do that.

– Atlanta Broadbent, school friend

The girls were last seen on February 17 at their home addresses in London. They then met and travelled to Gatwick airport where they boarded a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.

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Cameraman arrested over drone and police struggle to land device

A freelance cameraman has been arrested after flying a drone near Gatwick Airport. Surrey Police were caught on camera arresting Eddie Mitchell for breach of the peace before trying to land the drone themselves.

Mr Mitchell, though, says he was operating the kit within the rules. He was later released without charge.

Kate Bunkall has this report.

Journalist arrested for 'breaching the peace' with drone

Surrey Police have confirmed that a 49-year-old man has been arrested for breaching the peace.

The 49-year-old cameraman's arrest followed complaints from local residents and others in the vicinity of the tragic incident in which a woman and two young children sadly lost their lives.

Police confiscated the drone during his arrest but are in the process of returning it to the cameraman.

A number of uniformed officers and detectives were sent to the scene of this tragic incident to assist Surrey Fire and Rescue Service with their investigation.

“While in attendance, concerns about the behaviour of a man were raised to officers from people who believed he was acting in a disrespectful and intrusive manner.

“At the time of the arrest, the main focus for officers and fire crew at the scene was to conclude the initial forensic investigation and to allow the dignified removal of the bodies of those who had sadly died.

“This was a deeply distressing incident which has devastated the community and the impact will be felt for some time. The thoughts of all at Surrey Police are with those affected by the fire.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Antony Archibald

VIDEO: The moment a freelance cameraman is arrested by police

Here's the moment when photojournalist Eddie Mitchell was arrested by police for flying a drone near Gatwick Airport. Surrey Police officers are filmed arresting him for breach of the peace - and are then seen trying to land the drone themselves.

Mr Mitchell - who works freelance for a range of news organisations - had been flying the drone near the scene of a fatal fire in Surrey.

He says the location, near Gatwick, is part of the airport's air traffic control zone, but is not a no-fly area. He is a trained drone pilot and is one of the few journalists approved by the Civil Aviation Authority to commercially operate drones. He said he did not need to alert air traffic as his drone was weighing under 7kg.

Mr Mitchell was held in custody for a number of hours, before being released. It's thought police believed he had been operating the drone in a no-fly zone.

"A man in his 40s was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace."

– Surrey Police

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£120m upgrade for Gatwick Airport train station

Work will start in 2017 Credit: Gatwick

Gatwick Airport train station is to get a major upgrade. A redesign costing £120.5m will 'transform the station and passenger experience'. Work is scheduled to start in 2017 and complete in 2020. Passengers will experience a seamless transition' between the airport and the new station.

The concourse area will double in size, to reduce congestion and improve the passenger experience; more escalators and lifts will improve access to all platforms; and passengers will be provided with clear, concise information.

The improvements will see the rail station manage the expected growth in air passengers using the single runway airport, with demand at the station set to increase by five million to 20 million rail passengers a year by 2025.

Hundreds of new carriages for Gatwick Express

New carriages for Gatwick Express Credit: ITV

Plans for hundreds of new carriages on Gatwick Express and Thameslink routes have been welcomed by Rail Minister Claire Perry, following more than £300 million of investment by the rail industry.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has today agreed a £145 million order for 108 new carriages to replace the existing Gatwick Express fleet. The new carriages will be built in the UK by Derby-based Bombardier and are due to enter service in 2016.

In a further boost for passengers, GTR and Southern Railways has also confirmed that 116 new carriages will start to roll out on the Thameslink route between Bedford and Brighton from December. The carriages were ordered from manufacturer Bombardier last year and are due to replace the existing stock from May 2015 until the Siemens-built Thameslink trains enter service.

Once this fleet is operational, it will free up existing electric carriages to be released onto newly-electrified routes, creating additional capacity for passengers.

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