Heathrow Airport was a scene of utter chaos this morning after it was announced that Terminal 5, the new £4.3billion facility opened to passengers just yesterday, was to close with immediate effect.
After problems with luggage resulted in the cancellation of 34 flights on Thursday, more trouble today left British Airways' bosses with no option but to bring the whole sorry mess to an early conclusion, and travellers were told that they should immediately leave and go home.
Baggage handlers struggled to keep up with the quantity of luggage that came through the automated system, and mistakenly redirected many people's bags to a local waste recycling site near the airport. Some of these were recovered later.
A spokesman for the handlers, most of whom are from the Indian sub-continent, said that they had been over-run with suitcases, golf bags, shopping trolleys, televisions and other travel items, and had only taken a nap when it was clear that nothing else could be done.
British Airways announced this morning that, although the design of the new terminal was top notch, and that Terminal 5 had more coffee machines than any other airport in the world, there were some fundamental problems that had been overlooked, and that the project had been "an idea too far".