Los Angeles Police say reports of gunfire at airport were false alarm, 'Zorro' detained
Terminals at Los Angeles International Airport were evacuated briefly before the police determined that reports of gunfire were “false alarm” at the US airport.
Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police late on Sunday confirmed that no shots were fired at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Part of the airport was briefly closed after loud noises were heard that sounded like gunfire, possibly caused by a man dressed in a black Zorro outfit who was later detained by police.
Passengers who fled in panic after hearing the noises slowly filtered back to the busy airport, as the departure and arrival areas of the central terminal that were closed for a police sweep were re-opened.
Report of shooting at LAX proven to be LOUD NOISES only No Shots Fired No Injuries investigation continues to locate source
— Andy Neiman (@LAPDNeiman) August 29, 2016
However, an individual "in Zorro costume has been detained" by airport police, airport authorities wrote on Twitter. It was not immediately known what role the individual played in the incident.
Following the reports of an active shooter, passengers "in several LAX terminals self-evacuated onto the tarmac and rushed through federal security screening without being properly screened," airport public relations director Nancy Suey Castles said after the terminal was cleared.
Many passengers, however, were "being screened by explosive detection K-9 units" before being allowed to enter the terminals for re-screening, she said, adding that reports "of an active shooter at LAX were unfounded."
US airport security officials have been on heightened alert in recent months following deadly attacks at international airports in Belgium and Turkey.
The alert at LAX comes two months after police temporarily evacuated a terminal at New York City`s John F Kennedy International Airport while they investigated reports of gunfire in one of its terminals.
A preliminary investigation of that incident, which also occurred on a Sunday evening, found no evidence of foul play or suspicious activity.
The Los Angeles airport, known as LAX, is the seventh busiest airport worldwide in terms of traffic. Los Angeles itself is the second most populous city in the United States.
(With Agency inputs)