Flights halted at Atlanta airport after ‘accidental discharge’ of gun

Flights halted at Atlanta airport after ‘accidental discharge’ of gun
Normal operations have resumed after panic at airport as Thanksgiving travel rush begins

Departing flights out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have been halted following the “accidental discharge” of a weapon, according to a statement by airport officials.

“There is not an active shooter,” a tweet from the official airport account said. “There was an accidental discharge at the airport.”

“There is no danger to passengers or employees. An investigation is ongoing, more information will be published on this channel.”

A follow-up tweet reads: “At approximately 1.30pm today a weapon accidentally discharged at ATL’s security screening area. There is NOT an active shooter at the airport.”

Atlanta police are on the scene. No injuries have been reported.

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

An earlier tweet from the account ATLUncensored includes a video showing a chaotic scene with people on the ground, upended security barriers, and staff trying to direct passengers.

A voice can be heard shouting for people to “get down” and some passengers can be seen scrambling across the floor.

In the panic, a flight for New York awaiting departure closed its doors in case of an active shooter, according to a tweet from a passenger.

Writer Dianne Callahan also posted a picture of passengers standing on the tarmac. She later tweeted that the flight was being deplaned for everyone to be re-screened by security.

Ms Callahan praised Delta Air Lines for how they handled the situation.

There are no further details about the type of weapon nor the circumstances under which it was discharged.

At approximately 3.30pm officials gave the all-clear for normal operations to resume.

As the busy holiday travel season kicks off with Thanksgiving this Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration reports that 2.2 million people were screened at checkpoints on Friday — the largest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

Dentro 2014, Georgia lawmakers passed an NRA-supported “guns everywhere” law allowing loaded guns inside airports.

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