it was an “accidental discharge” at Atlanta airport

(CNN Spanish) – The unintentional discharge of a weapon close to the principle inspection space at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport brought on widespread panic Saturday afternoon, inflicting a short disruption to departing flights in the course of the busy journey weekend.

The discharge occurred round 1:30 p.m. (Miami time) on the airport’s safety management space, they mentioned. airport officials on Twitter.

“There is no danger to passengers or employees,” the assertion mentioned, including that the investigation is ongoing.

An Atlanta police spokesman confirmed that no accidents had been reported because of the incident.

“There was an accidental discharge of a firearm near the main security checkpoint,” mentioned Atlanta Police Sgt. Jarius Daugherty. “Officers are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.”

A floor halt was ordered on the airport for all outbound flights, in response to the Federal Aviation Administration, however the order was quickly lifted.

No particulars have been supplied in regards to the weapon or the circumstances surrounding the unintentional discharge.

Witnesses recount the chaos after the scare

Witnesses described confusion and dysfunction when panic broke out on the airport’s home terminal. Erika Zeidler, who was touring from Atlanta to Anchorage, Alaska, mentioned she was sitting in Concourse T when folks began working down the aisle.

“We assumed they were late for a flight,” he informed CNN. “Then all of a sudden more people started running through the terminal and yelled that there was an attacker.”

Zeidler and others took refuge in a TGI Fridays restaurant, he mentioned. Photos he shared on Twitter confirmed a crowd of individuals standing on the runway below a catwalk because the incident unfolded.

Greg Romero had simply bought off a Salt Lake City flight when he heard there was an emergency. Airport personnel “closed all the escalators and cut off all the passengers and turned off the tram,” mentioned Romero, father-in-law of CNN correspondent Nadia Romero.

“Right now, the airport staff is doing a very good job of keeping everyone calm,” he added.

Some vacationers have been “a little scared, but more frustrated,” Romero mentioned. “They try to take flights, get out of the airport. For the most part, people are just against the walls.”

More than 2.2 million vacationers on Friday

The capturing scare comes because the Thanksgiving journey interval begins. On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration screened greater than 2.2 million airport vacationers nationwide, the very best quantity of checkpoints in a single day for the reason that pandemic started, in response to a spokesperson for the airport. TSA.

In October, David Pekoske, the TSA administrator, informed CNN that airline passengers are bringing weapons to the airport in portions by no means seen earlier than, and it’s a “big problem.”

The TSA reported that 4,650 firearms have been collected at checkpoints in the course of the first 10 months of the yr, most of which have been loaded. That quantity surpasses the full-year document of 4,432, set in 2019.

Pekoske mentioned he believes the variety of weapons confiscated displays an more and more armed American inhabitants. “I think more people are carrying guns, generally across the country, and then whatever is happening across the country we see it reflected at our checkpoints,” he mentioned. “As a passenger, I don’t want another passenger flying with me with a weapon in their possession.”

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Nadia Romero, and Ray Sánchez contributed to this report.

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