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Explosion rocks Beijing airport in China, terminal evacuated

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An explosion hit Beijing airport in China on Saturday, prompting police to order people to leave one terminal, a witness said.

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, of the International Crisis Group think tank, was at the airport when the blast happened at about 6:30 p.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET).

“Huge explosion followed by panic, smoke and dust at Terminal 3,” she said on Twitter.

“Lots of excitement, police v angry, shouted crowds back and told everyone to leave,” she added.

She posted a photograph of the scene, showing the air clouded with dust after the blast:

The official Xinhua News Agency said a man in a wheel chair was responsible for the explosion, just outside the arrivals exit of Terminal.

The Sina Weibo microblog of state broadcaster China Central Television said the bomb consisted of black gunpowder used to make firecrackers.

A photograph posted on China's official Xinhua news agency's English-language website showed medical staff treating someone who was lying on the ground.

Chinese state television reported that the only person taken to hospital after the blast was the suspected bomber. However local media said a police official also suffered a minor injury.

Beijing International Airport Authority later said that arrivals and departures were operating normally.

Reuters contributed to this report.