Accidental discharge of passenger's gun at Atlanta airport cause widespread panic
- The gun discharged in the security screening area of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Departing flights were briefly halted following the incident
- Three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries
An accidental discharge of a passenger's gun in the security screening area of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport caused widespread chaos and led to a brief halting of departing flights.
Although the Atlanta police had previously said no injuries were reported, an updated statement from the Transportation Security Administration said three people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The injuries were not from the shooting itself but people were instead hurt during the evacuation, CNN reported. All of the injured were adults, the report said, and two were transported to the hospital.
The incident began around 1.30 pm ET when a "prohibited item" was identified going through the X-ray at the security checkpoint, the TSA said. A bag search was initiated, and a TSA officer told the passenger not to touch the property. But while the officer searched the bag, the "passenger lunged into the bag and grabbed a firearm, at which point it discharged," the TSA said, the Associated Press reported.
The noise sent the airport into a frenzy. Visitors posted videos of the resulting chaos on social media. A ground stop temporarily halted flights to Atlanta from other airports around the country.
"The passenger then fled the area, running out of the airport exit," the statement said, adding, "This was not an active shooter event."
In the meantime, there is no danger to passengers or employees, airport officials said on Twitter. Normal operations resumed at the airport at about 3.30 pm. Airport officials have not confirmed how many shots were fired, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
An investigation is ongoing and Atlanta Police Department responded to the scene. The White House is also "monitoring" the incident, a White House official said, referring questions to local law enforcement, CNN reported.