Heathrow security alert as man locks himself in cockpit of BA plane

Man breaks through security and boards empty plane

Heathrow security alert as man locks himself in cockpit of BA plane\

A man has been arrested after breaking through a security fence at London Heathrow and locking himself in a BA plane's cockpit.

Louis Pedro Verdasca dos Santos Costa, 38, a Portuguese national who lives in London, managed to get through a security perimeter at Heathrow before heading to the BA engineering base at Hatton Cross, where the empty Boeing 747 plane was parked.

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ITV News reports that the man locked himself in the flight deck, and that it took the fire brigade a long time to get him out as the plane's cockpit is designed to ward off acts of terrorism.

The cockpit doors are bomb and bullet proof in a bid to protect the pilots from mid-flight incidents.

Speaking to Sky News, an unnamed source said: "It was a very difficult and complex situation and in the end the fire brigade had to be called to the plane and carried out a long and very protracted operation to get into the cockpit from outside.

"It is a terrifying situation when you think about it. Here is a man who not only has managed to go air-side at one of the world's busiest airports but he has successfully got to a Boeing 747 jet liner and found it open and was able to climb aboard.

"Then he has got onto the flight deck and barricaded himself in using the plane's own anti-terrorist equipment."

In a statement a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that a 38-year-old man had been arrested and was being held in custody at a West London police station.

According to the Metro, a spokesman said: "Louis Pedro Verdasca dos Santos Costa, 38, of Hounslow, west London was charged on Saturday, 5 March with two counts: of unlawfully being airside, and of unlawfully being on an aircraft.

"He has been remanded into custody at a west London police station and will appear at court at the earliest opportunity next week."

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