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False Alarm Prompts Evacuations at LAX

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Last night, passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) received word of gunfire inside terminals 6, 7 and 8 around 8:45pm. Police acted fast, setting up a command post and not allowing anyone to enter the central terminal area. The panic caused all flight operations on the airport’s two southern runways to be halted for about a half hour due to passengers evacuating from the terminal onto the restricted runway area.

LAX’s official Twitter account was very active during the whole ordeal, unlike the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s account, which was comparatively quiet during a similar false alarm situation at New York’s JFK Airport two weeks ago.

After about two hours, it was clear that the reports of gunfire were unsubstantiated and people were allowed to re-enter the terminals after being re-screened.

The all-clear to re-enter the terminals comes after the Los Angeles Airport Police Department had apprehended a suspect dressed in a Zorro costume. It’s still unclear whether the the individual was connected to the gunfire scare or not.

Oh, and here’s a video of Zorro:

After several attacks at major European airports and another false alarm at JFK, US airports have been on high alert. At this point, it seems that the panic was caused by miscommunication about “some young individuals that were in the terminal area,” according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, but reports of an attack can’t be ignored, and authorities acted accordingly by evacuating terminals and blocking entry for a period of time.

H/T: Los Angeles Times, Sam Macon

Featured image of LAX courtesy of Shutterstock.

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