Police nab driver after chase across France airport runway

A driver crashed through the security barriers at an airport in Lyon, France, Monday and sped onto the runway, leading authorities on a high-speed chase that disrupted several flights.

An airliner sits on the tarmac at Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport in Lyon, France. Police were led on a dramatic chase across the airport's runway Monday by a man in a gray Mercedes-Benz. File Photo by Olivier Chassignole/EPA
An airliner sits on the tarmac at Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport in Lyon, France. Police were led on a dramatic chase across the airport’s runway Monday by a man in a gray Mercedes-Benz. File Photo by Olivier Chassignole/EPA

Police officers chased after the driver at Lyon Saint-Exupery Airport with squad cars, motorcycles and a helicopter, officials said. The driver broke through a security perimeter and drove onto the runway in a gray car.

Authorities said the driver almost crashed into an embankment and fled on foot, but was immediately swarmed by officers and arrested.

Multiple flights were delayed and some surprised passengers posted footage of the chase online.

One worker was slightly injured, officials said. More than 80 flights were canceled or diverted.

The Lyon Prosecutor’s office said the driver is 31-years-old and previously known to police. Officials also said it’s likely the man is a French citizen.

“He reportedly said ‘I am sent by Allah,’ but I don’t have complete confirmation of that,” Lyon prosecutor Marc Cimamonti told journalists at a news conference.

BySommer Brokaw