Chaos erupted in a busy airport terminal as a fire alarm sparked a mass evacuation.

Passengers jetting off from Gatwick Airport instead found themselves gathered in car parks and smoking areas after the alarm was raised.

Flights were delayed leaving the airport this morning after the incident - which shut down the South Terminal for around 45 minutes.

Kevin Edger, from London, was among those caught up in the chaos. He said people were "running around everywhere and very confused."

Firefighters entered the terminal to find the source of the blaze but were not able to find any flames. It is believed to have been a false alarm.

Passengers have been forced to go through airport security again following the evacuation.

A spokesman for Gatwick said: "Our South Terminal departure lounge was evacuated this morning following a fire alarm activation. Our dedicated airport fire service attended and confirmed there was no fire.

"The departure lounge is now open again and we are processing remaining passengers back through security as quickly as we can. Huge thanks to everyone cooperating this morning, and to the fire service for their swift attendance."

Read more: Minister apologises for airport disruption caused by passport e-gate failure

This comes just a day after huge queues built up at the border following a failure of the e-gate passport checks across the country.

Some passengers queued for longer than the length of their flight as they were funnelled into a small number of desks manned by Border Force staff.

Immigration minister Tom Pursglove said an investigation had determined the incident was caused by “technical issues within the Home Office network.”

Engineers detected a wider system network problem at 7.44pm on Tuesday and e-gates at UK airports came “back online” shortly after midnight on Wednesday, according to the Home Office.