Flights halted after man speeds onto France airport runway

Dramatic police chase at Lyon airport after driver smashes through perimeter fence onto runway

More than a dozen police cars and a helicopter pursued the fugitive up the wrong side of a motorway before he broke through security barriers at the Lyon Saint Exupery global airport.

French police arrested a man Monday following a high-speed auto chase on the runway at Lyon airport after he rammed his vehicle into a terminal and drove through the building.

The incident prompted the suspension of all flights in and out of Lyon Saint-Exupery airport, France's third largest.

The man, aged 31 and believed to be French, was previously known to police only for traffic violations, in 2007 and 2009, the official said.

The driver smashed his auto through a terminal and onto the runway.

There, he rammed into automatic glass doors near the main entrance to Terminal 1 and drove through the building.

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He then smashed into a toll booth and charged across airport land chased by 20 police and gendarmerie cars, motorcyclists and a helicopter.

After continuing for a few metres the driver then abandons the vehicle while it is still moving and tries to flee on foot.

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes police proceeded to arrest the man but have not yet disclosed what he is being charged with.

The driver, dressed in dark clothing, then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot.

The airport has been closed and all flights have been successfully grounded, according to reports.

A source close to the investigation is quoted as saying by Le Parisien that the suspect was driving at high-speed in the opposite direction on the highway before reaching the airport.

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