Airport runway closed in Britain after protesters surround 'deportation plane'

A photo uploaded by the protesters to Twitter.
A photo uploaded by the protesters to Twitter.PHOTO: TWITTER

LONDON - The runway at Britain's Stansted Airport has been closed, according to reports, as police deal with an incident involving protesters who have surrounded a plane parked on the tarmac.

Activists are apparently attempting to keep a "deportation flight" used to remove failed asylum seekers grounded at the Essex airport, near London.

A group of eight protesters claim to be blocking a charter flight which is deporting a group of asylum seekers to Nigeria and Ghana, said Britain's Daily Mirror.

A Facebook video appears to show the protesters chained together in front of a passenger jet.

In a press release, the group said the activists were from three organisations: End Deportations, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Plane Stupid.

They claim to have blocked the non-commercial runway at Stansted "in an attempt to halt a mass deportation to Nigeria and Ghana", said the MIrror.

The flight includes people who "fear for their lives and have claimed asylum".

A spokesman for the airport told Britain's Independent that takeoffs and landings had been temporarily stopped "as a precaution" to allow police to check no protesters had made it onto the runway.

According to FlightRadar24 which monitors flight data, all flights to Stansted are currently circling or being diverted to Luton Airport.

Police officers can be seen in the video attempting to remove the protesters.

The group can be heard chanting: "No borders, no nations, stop deportations."