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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

USA. One passenger’s gun fired at the airport

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At the International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, a passenger’s gun fired during security checks. Three people were injured, possibly during an outbreak of panic. Flights were suspended for two hours.

The incident took place at approx. 1:30 pm local time, when the security control operator searched a passenger bag “because a prohibited item was discovered that was identified by a scanner,” the Transport Safety Authority (TSA) reported. “(The operator) told the passenger not to touch anything, and when he opened the compartment containing the prohibited item, the passenger threw himself into the bag and when he grasped the gun, it was fired at that point,” TSA reported.


Escape of the gun owner and panic at the airport

Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil said the gun owner had fled the airport, although “he was not allowed to go.” As he added, the authorities are trying to locate him. “Since it was undergoing security checks, we have all the information about it,” Gobeil explained.

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Panic broke out at the airportReuters

The incident caused panic. People hurriedly left the terminal and stepped onto the apron.

“People started running away, there were screams,” said passenger Erika Zeidler, who had sent CNN photos of dozens of people running to the tarmac. Some dragged suitcases behind them. “Preliminary reports indicate that three people have sustained minor injuries,” reported the TSA.

Airport officials said in a statement that the investigation was ongoing and that there was no threat to passengers and employees. They said on Twitter that approximately two hours after the incident, it had been agreed to resume normal operations in the airport’s security control area.

Record number of firearms seized at airports

Atlanta airport was the busiest airport in the world in 2021, according to a company specializing in aviation analytics (OAG). Authorities predict that on Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day, during the period of travel intensification from Friday 19 November to Sunday 28 November, the number of travelers will reach pre-pandemic levels.

In the first nine months of 2021, a record number of firearms were seized at US airport checkpoints. “Nationally, TSA officials stopped 4,495 airline passengers from bringing firearms on board planes, more than 4,432 firearms intercepted throughout 2019. At the Atlanta airport in 2021, 450 firearms were detected during an inspection” – the Reuters agency reported.

Main photo source: Reuters

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