Pilot accidentally hits hostage alarm, causing lockdown at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport

A pilot accidentally triggered a hijacking/hostage taking alarm in a plane's cockpit, causing a major security lockdown on Wednesday at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, one of Europe's busiest.

An investigation is underway to determine what went wrong, Dutch military police said.

"In a plane (set to fly) from Amsterdam to Madrid tonight an alarm was accidentally activated which set off safety protocols at the airport," Spanish-owned Air Europa said. "There was no cause for alarm. All passengers were fine and waiting for the flight to take off."

It added: "We are sorry. There was no cause for alarm."

Dutch justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus said in a tweet that he was impressed by the "sharp and alert response of authorities and services, both local and national".

Many departing flights were delayed, but the airport said in a statement that "regular operation" had resumed.

The alert in the Netherlands came as Milan's Malpensa Airport was briefly closed while police investigated a suspicious item in someone's luggage that turned out to be a harmless computer part.

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La policía holandesa se reúne luego de que se activó una alerta en el Aeropuerto de Ámsterdam-Schiphol, el miércoles 6 de noviembre de 2019, en Ámsterdam, Holanda. (AP Foto/Peter Dejong)
Dutch military police and security officers mill about after a threat at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Dutch military police say that all passengers and crew are safely off a plane at the center of a security alert at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The military police service earlier said they were responding to a suspicious situation at the airport on the outskirts of Amsterdam. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Dutch police mill about after a threat at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. Dutch military police say that all passengers and crew are safely off a plane at the center of a security alert at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The military police service earlier said they were responding to a suspicious situation at the airport on the outskirts of Amsterdam. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Dutch police patrol at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport after a suspicious incident proved to be a false alarm, Netherlands November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
People speak inside the terminal of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport, Netherlands November 6, 2019 REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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