Fake report about a man carrying a gun panics Los Angeles Airport passengers
On Monday, the rumor of a man with a gun created panic among passengers and staff at Los Angeles International Airport terminal. Following the rumor, around 20 passengers started screaming and trampled others while running out through the emergency doors.
Belinda Joseph, LAX Police Sgt., said the wrong announcement near the boarding area immediately led to a police pursuit of the unknown person that ended in front of Terminal 2.
Police received an emergency call around 9 a.m. reporting that a man may be trying to commit suicide. The police officers detained the man and sent him to the hospital for treatment. But then someone said that there was a man who had a gun. Joseph said that the news was false.
In a mail to The Associated Press, Benjamin Horton, a photojournalist who was also present in the terminal at that time, told that the people’s reactions showed that they thought it to be a dire situation.
Horton added that in a panicky state, he hid behind a pillar and saw an old lady who fell down and got partially trampled but didn’t appear to be injured much.
Firstly the police said that the false news was spread over a public address system but after some time said that the announcement was made by someone at the gate area. It is still unknown whether the person was an employee or some passenger.
Joseph said the things came under control within 15 minutes and during that time period, the passengers who were hiding near the planes, were under the observation of the officers.
Joseph added, “They just went outside and told them the accurate information, and the passengers went on their flights". LAX has faced an incident of gun violence earlier.
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