Budapest Airport terminal briefly shut due to hot isotope container

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - A terminal of Budapest Airport was briefly shut down late on Wednesday due to an overheated container carrying an isotope, a spokesman for the Hungarian Disaster Management Authority said.

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“Material damaging to health did not get into the environment,” Marton Hajdu told Reuters, adding that

Terminal 2B was shut down to facilitate a fast investigation.

“Passengers are perfectly safe, ” he added.

The terminal was shut between 7.30 p.m. (1730 GMT) and about 10.30 p.m. and eight incoming and eight outgoing flights were affected, Budapest Airport spokesman Laszlo Kurucz told Reuters.

Passengers and crew of the flight that carried the container and passengers at the airport were not in danger, according to information from the Disaster Management Authority, Hajdu added.

The officials did not name the flight or the isotope.

The national news agency MTI said the material was iridium ordered by a Hungarian company from the Russian city of Dimitrovgrad, and the container arrived in Budapest on a flight which arrived in the evening from Istanbul.

Gabor Kaszas, an official of the company, Izotop Intezet Kft, was quoted by MTI as saying that a rise in temperature was normal when such materials are transported.

Izotop Intezet is a company focused on research, development and production of radioisotopes used in healthcare, research and industry.

Officials of the company were not immediately available for comment.

A Reuters photographer at the airport saw firemen enter a Turkish Airlines plane parked on the tarmac.

Neither the airport nor the disaster control authority confirmed the flight affected was operated by Turkish Airlines, Turkish Airlines officials were not immediately available for comment.

Data on the airport’s website showed that flight TK1037 from Istanbul landed in Budapest at 1907 CET, shortly before the terminal was closed.

Reporting by Sandor Peto, Gergely Szakacs and Bernadett Szabo; editing by Catherine Evans and James Dalgleish