Atlanta airport given “all-clear” after firearm apparently discharged by accident, officials say

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Atlanta’s international airport is resuming normal operations after an “accidental discharge” of a firearm on Saturday appeared to spark chaos for some travelers and resulted in several flight delays.

Just before 3:30 p.m. ET, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport tweeted it received the “all-clear” and “normal operations are beginning.” Departing flights had been under gate holds and experiencing delays of under 15 minutes, while arriving flights experienced similar delays, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Atlanta Police Department said it appears a firearm accidentally discharged near the main security checkpoint around 1:30 p.m. No injuries were reported, and police said they are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident. 

Videos posted to Twitter appeared to show people lying on the ground at the airport — seemingly trying to take cover — with items of clothing and other personal items strewn across the floor. Other passengers appeared to have been evacuated, with videos showing people standing with their bags on the tarmac.

“There is not an active shooter,” the airport tweeted just after the incident. “There was an accidental discharge at the Airport. There is no danger to passengers or employees.”

This comes as the TSA is reporting record numbers of travelers ahead of Thanksgiving. On Friday, the agency said it screened more than 2.2 million travelers — the highest number since the start of the pandemic last year.



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