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From: Bloomberg: Virgin Blue's Melbourne Airport Terminal Evacuated (Update4)
A terminal at Melbourne Airport shared by Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. and regional carrier Rex was evacuated for eight hours after passengers and staff became ill.
About 700 people were evacuated from the terminal just after 10 a.m. as authorities searched for the cause of the illness, which caused at least 47 people to be taken to hospital with nausea and dizziness. Virgin Blue and Regional Express flights were grounded 6 p.m. while the terminal's baggage, food handling, staff and passenger areas were tested
The terminal was reopened at 6 p.m., even though chemical assessment teams from state and federal government departments and emergency services were unable to identify the source of the irritant. ``We haven't worked out what it was,'' Holmes said. ``There's certainly no contaminant or anything else in the building, it's been thoroughly sampled and checked and there's nothing in here.''
From: Channel NewsAsia: Melbourne airport shut down over mystery illness
It began with several airport workers feeling sick.
Within an hour, the ambulance service had activated a full scale disaster plan as those affected came forward in droves.
"I've got a headache and my tummy started hurting."
"Nauseous, faint and sweaty - my heart was racing."
Authorities quickly evacuated the Virgin Blue terminal, unsure what the problem was - only that people inside were rapidly falling ill.
The travel plans of thousands of commuters across the country were thrown into chaos.
The Australian: Airport illness remains mystery
AN inquiry has failed to identify what sickened almost 60 people at Virgin Blue's Melbourne terminal, disrupting its operations for days.
But the inquiry into the February 21 incident did identify shortfalls in the response of emergency services to the drama.
The Victorian Government, which ordered the inquiry, has written to Prime Minister John Howard, asking that airport emergency response services call the MFB immediately if a similar situation occurs again in Melbourne.