Vehicle crash, false report of gunman cause panic at LAX
LOS ANGELES — A car crash and false alarms on Friday night evacuated Los Angeles International Airport terminals, stalled dozens of flights and panicked passengers.
About 4,600 passengers were affected by the disruptions during one of the airport's busiest holiday seasons, officials said.
The panic started when a woman driving on the airport's arrivals loop had a medical emergency and lost control of her SUV. The vehicle hit a woman who was walking on a sidewalk before it slammed into a parking garage across the roadway from Terminal 5, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Guardado.
Sounds from the crash spurred reports of gunfire among passengers inside the terminal. Many fled the building, said airport police Chief Patrick Gannon.
“It was determined relatively quickly that there was not a shooting,” he said.
Both women in the crash were injured, the pedestrian seriously, Guardado told KTTV-TV. Details on the women's conditions were not immediately available Saturday morning.
In neighboring Terminal 4, airport police received an anonymous call just after the crash reporting a gunman at a specific gate, Gannon said.
The call prompted police to evacuate about 2,000 people from both terminals while they investigated. No gunman was found, and passengers were allowed to return but had to be rescreened by security.
“It took us a couple of hours to clear those terminals,” Gannon said. “It created quite a disturbance.”
The caller had not been identified as of Saturday.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- CIA admits Senate was spied on
- Museum sleepover for adults sells out
- Georgia company CEO, 2 others slated to go on trial in salmonella outbreak
- House’s vote to sue Obama is historic foray into checks, balances
- State Dept: ‘No American is proud’ of CIA tactics
- Congress considers dangers of driving high
- Credit-card-stealing virus ‘Backoff’ virtually undetectable, Homeland Security warns
- FDA will regulate labs’ ‘high-risk’ test devices
- House GOP balks on young immigrants bill
- CEO shot, wounded in Chicago, apparently by demoted executive