Reported "accidental" gun discharge causes chaos at Atlanta airport
Reported “accidental” gun discharge causes chaos at Atlanta airport

Tyler Wilkins

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — Despite claims on social media, there was not an active shooter at Atlanta’s airport, said Hartsfield-Jackson officials in a statement posted to Twitter.

A gun was accidentally fired at the airport around 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the security screening area. And it sent social media into a frenzy as visitors posted videos to Twitter of chaos unraveling.

Neither passengers nor employees are in danger, according to the statement. An investigation is currently ongoing, and Atlanta Police Department is on the scene.

The airport has since resumed normal operations, officials said in another statement around 3:30 p.m. Twitter users report that the airport is still in a state of confusion, some noting long lines and missed flights.

Delta issued a travel waiver to assist customers who were impacted by the incident, the company announced in a statement. Customers’ fare difference will be waived if their rebooked flight occurs on or before Nov. 23 in the same cabin originally booked.

Channel 2 Action News reported that the Transportation Security Administration said all passengers in the airport are being rescreened.

“This incident underscores the importance of checking personal belongings for dangerous items before leaving for the airport. Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them,” TSA said in a statement to the news station.

Of the guns captured at airport security checkpoints across the nation last year, about 83% were loaded. As of Oct. 3, more firearms had been recovered at Hartsfield-Jackson’s security checkpoints this year than at any other U.S. airport.

Twitter users report that they heard more than one gunshot, though airport officials have not confirmed how many shots were fired. No injuries have been reported, said Atlanta police in a statement.

MARTA rail service to the airport closed for much of Sunday afternoon but has since resumed, the agency posted on Twitter. A ground stop temporarily halted flights at other airports around the country that were bound for Atlanta.


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