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Stansted Airport security scanner failure leaves hundreds stranded
Hundreds of travellers were left stranded for hours at Stansted Airport because of a fault with security scanners.
Passengers posted photographs of large crowds inside the terminal building on social media, with one describing the scene as "a huge pile-up".
There were reports of two-hour delays in the departure lounge – with some missing flights altogether.
The airport apologised and said a "technical issue" had hit the scanners.
Extra time was needed to process passengers as a result, and those who missed flights were getting help rebooking, a spokesman said.
The problem with the hand baggage X-ray machines emerged at about 04:30 GMT.
One traveller, posting on Twitter with the username Kate-Elizabeth, wrote: "All the scanners went down.
"There was a huge pile up, staff didn't prioritise the times of anyone's flights and Ryanair didn't hold the flight for all those delayed.
"Missed flight so now in another huge queue with loads of others trying to get another one. All staff completely unhelpful."
Another passenger, Meagan Tetro, tweeted: "Hundreds stranded at Stansted Airport due to their system failing. All missed flights and now stuck queuing."
She said she was with about 150 other people needing new flights, and described the situation as an "embarrassing show of service" from the airport and Ryanair.
A Ryanair spokesman said the airline regretted any inconvenience but added they were "not responsible for airport security delays."
The airport spokeswoman said: "Due to a technical issue with a number of X-ray machines in the main security area, throughput capacity was reduced, taking extra time to process passengers.
"Engineers rectified the issue and additional measures were put in place to minimise the impact to passengers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."
Stansted is the fourth busiest airport in the UK and is used by an average of 67,000 passengers each day.