After reports on television news and social media that there was an alleged active shooter situation at Los Angeles International Airport during the evening of Sunday, Aug. 28, police confirmed that travelers and workers were not in danger and that the reports, in reality, were false alarms. So, what happened at LAX? It seems like travelers at the California airport found themselves in a similar situation as those travelers passing through JFK earlier this month.
According to the LAPD's Commanding Officer of Media Relations Andy Neiman, "loud noises" seemed to have set off a panic, causing travelers in the baggage area to rush for the exits. LAPD confirmed in a posting to Twitter that no shots were fired, and, thankfully, no injuries were sustained during the chaos.
Similarly, loud noises from Olympic celebrations ended up provoking another comparable incident earlier this month that also caused terminal evacuations at JFK Airport in New York City. Travelers who were celebrating Usain Bolt's gold in the 100-meter sprint ended up spooking others, and panic set in once security officials sounded the alarm. Nobody was hurt in the confusion, but many ended up questioning what would happen in the event of a real emergency.
LAX is the seventh busiest airport in the world in terms of air traffic, meaning any diversion of air traffic is likely to be felt across much of the national grid. The Chicago Tribune reported that this was indeed the case, with the FAA grounding all LAX bound flights taking off from Minnesota or anywhere to the west of the state.
However, service has been restored at the airport, and operations are beginning to return to normal. Small consolation to the thousands of travelers on the ground who may have had a scare, and everyone else who had their travel plans disrupted, but at least this episode ended without any major incident.