[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
Puff pastry sparks Semtex alert
Puff pastry
The puff pastry was in a rucksack
Bomb disposal experts at a French airport blew up a Scottish holidaymaker's rucksack after mistaking puff pastry for explosives.

Gail Brooker said she had packed the frozen pastry because she had not found any to her liking in French supermarkets.

But her plans to make a chicken pie for her family were scuppered after her partner Peter Calder left the bag near a car hire desk at Toulouse Airport.

The couple were on holiday with Mrs Brooker's son Charles, his girlfriend Alyson and Mr Calder's daughter Katherine.

Mrs Brooker, who runs a guest house in Kirk Yetholm, near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, said they left one rucksack behind after loading up their hire car.

I thought if I took it with me I would be able to make a chicken pie within a day or two
Gail Brooker
"We believe the French police interpreted the pastry as Semtex and blew up the rucksack," she said.

When Mrs Brooker, 53, and Mr Calder, 62, tried phoning the airport they discovered that it was closed.

"Peter went back to the airport the next morning to the Avis desk and asked if they had seen a blue rucksack," said Mrs Brooker.

"The woman at the desk raised her eyebrows and said 'cete explode!'

"Peter then went to see the police and at first they did not have a good sense of humour, but they then realised it was a mistake."

Chicken pie
Mrs Brooker wanted to make a chicken pie
Mr Calder's binoculars and camera equipment were also destroyed in the controlled explosion.

Mrs Brooker said she brought the pastry with her because she wanted to plan menus in advance.

"I have never been able to find decent pastry in the French supermarkets," she said.

"I thought if I took it with me I would be able to make a chicken pie within a day or two.

"But I did not get the chance to make it and the puff pastry ended up on the airport ceiling."

Security advisers said that airport officials around the world would take no chances in such a situation and that any luggage left unattended would be destroyed.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific