Last updated: 08:12 AM ET, Mon August 29 2016

Reports Of Gunfire At LAX Unfounded

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | August 29, 2016

Reports Of Gunfire At LAX Unfounded

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Mistaken reports of an active shooter at Los Angeles International Airport caused chaos in the terminals and flight delays early this morning.

A loud noise triggered a massive evacuation in three different terminals of the nation’s second largest airport, but L.A. police confirmed that reports of shots fired were false.

Nonetheless, passengers ran out of the terminals – some waiting on flights ran out onto the tarmac – as the rumor of gunfire spread quickly after the first reports at about 8:45 p.m. PDT on Sunday night. One woman speaking to NBC News said she just left her bag behind and ran, although as police cleared the terminals that likely added to the chaos.

Anne Dudek, an actress returning home on a United Airlines flight, told the Los Angeles Times she was coming down the escalator at Terminal 7 to baggage claim when a man ran by screaming for everyone to run because of gunfire.

"People started dropping bags and running out of the terminal," she told the paper. "Panic spread."

All terminals were eventually evacuated and LAX operations were re-started at about 10:45 p.m. PDT. Passengers needed to be re-screened upon entering the facility. However, flight delays were numerous and several planes needed to circle the airport for about an hour before being allowed to land because of the backup.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for LAX but it was brief, lasting only 30 minutes. Nonetheless, CNN noted that 23 flights during that half-hour needed to be diverted to other airports in the Los Angeles area and 68 were delayed.


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