A man is in custody after a security scare which forced the evacuation of Cairns Airport.
“The airport terminal has been evacuated due to the need to clean up flammable liquid that has been spilt,” according to a statement issued by Australian Federal Police on Friday evening.
“No members of the public or AFP members were harmed during this incident.”
The agency also said the man was being held for his own protection.
Hundreds of passengers were ushered from the terminal via a loudspeaker announcement after reports of an emergency scenario.
The airport’s Twitter account also confirmed an incident but said it was under control.
“Will return to normal operations soon,” it read.
Journalist Jonathon Holmes was at the airport and told ABC Radio all passengers were cleared out amid reports someone had threatened to set themselves alight.
“My wife had gone in before me (and) she said one woman told her she’d seen someone pouring petrol all over themselves and about to set themselves alight,” he said.
“However, it looks like that didn’t happen – there was a strong smell of petrol but no burning.”
Images posted on social media confirm a large crowd was shepherded out of the building.
One woman, Lucy Karger, told The Cairns Post it had been a “frenzied” scene as passengers rushed to evacuate.
“I heard a lot of commotion coming from where the security scanners are,” she told the paper.
“Then we saw a big mob of people in a frenzied panic running towards us.”
A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed two crews had been dispatched in response to a “mental health matter”.
But there were no reported injuries, she added.