‘Loud noises’ cause mass panic at Los Angeles International Airport
PUBLISHED Mon, August 29, 2016 - 12:06am EDT
Credit: Sam Macon
'Loud noises' that were heard at Los Angeles International Airport on late Sunday night led to fears of an active shooter, causing mass panic as hundreds of passengers fled from the terminals, officials say. All flights were immediately suspended. (more)
The incident began just before 9 p.m. PT on Sunday when "loud noises" startled passengers inside Terminal 8 who feared a shooter had opened fire. A large number of police officers and other emergency services rushed to the scene to investigate the reports.
Footage from the scene showed passengers - some of them screaming - as they ran from the terminals while others took shelter or ran out onto the airport's tarmac. Officers arrived at the scene within a few moments but failed to locate any evidence of a shooting.
Andy Neiman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the reports of a shooting were proven to have been caused by "loud noises", though he did not say what had caused them. He said an investigation into the source of the noises was still ongoing.
During the incident, all terminals were evacuated by officers from the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, but Terminals 1, 2, 3, 5, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal received the all clear just before 10 p.m. The remaining terminals were cleared just before 11 p.m. after a precautionary search for explosives.
Because passengers fled into restricted areas and out onto the tarmac, all flights were immediately suspended by air traffic control. A ground stop that was issued for the airport was lifted shortly after the all clear was given, but delays are expected to continue well into Monday morning.