An “accidental discharge” of a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport caused chaos for travelers on Saturday.
Officials announced there was not an active shooter, after numerous social media posts indicated that passengers were evacuating parts of America’s busiest airport. The Transporation Security Administration said early reports indicated that three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
“A property search TSO at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s (ATL) Main Checkpoint began a bag search due to a prohibited item identified by the X-Ray,” the agency said Saturday. “He advised the passenger not to touch the property, and as he opened the compartment containing the prohibited item, the passenger lunged into the bag and grabbed a firearm, at which point it discharged. The passenger then fled the area, running out of the airport exit.”
“There was an accidental discharge at the Airport,” the airport said from its official Twitter account. “There is no danger to passengers or employees. An investigation is ongoing, more information will be published on this channel.”
“Local airport and TSA leadership made the decision to initiate a ground stop while Atlanta Police Department investigated the incident further,” the TSA said.
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“Atlanta Police Department gave an all-clear at 3:20 PM and TSA began rescreening passengers at that time,” TSA added.
Video posted to Twitter from user @JamariJones_ATL shows people ducking and crawling on the ground.
Another user, @kevinhelgren, said he was “walking towards security in Atlanta airport when folks told me to stop walking.”
“Was calm for 5 mins, then everyone started running and screaming. Took train one stop north. Haven’t received info,” he wrote.
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A third user, @DianneCallaha16, said she heard screams and sirens while people were boarding a flight to New York.
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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.