Los Angeles International
Airport was partly evacuated and some flights delayed on Friday
evening after passengers mistook the noise from a car crash
outside for gunfire, at around the same time as an anonymous
caller reported an armed man in a terminal, officials said.
The reports of an armed man and shots fired, while they
appear to be false, disrupted flight operations and alarmed
passengers at the California airport, one of the world's
busiest, where a gunman killed a federal security agent and
wounded several others in a shooting spree on Nov. 1.
Shortly before 7:30 p.m. local time on Friday, airport
police responded to a report from passengers that shots were
fired at terminal 5. They found this report to be false, citing
a "loud noise" produced from a multiple-vehicle traffic accident
on a roadway outside the terminal, according to airport
spokeswoman Nancy Castles
At around the same time, an anonymous caller told airport
police that there was a man with a weapon in terminal 4, Castles
said. Police investigated and found that report to be false but
fully evacuated the terminal so it could be searched.
At least 2,000 passengers are estimated to have either fled
on their own or under direction by airport police.