Atlanta, GA

Atlanta Airport Halts Flights after Accidental Weapon Discharge That Caused Panic

Bryan Dijkhuizen

When a firearm was accidentally discharged near the main screening area of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Saturday afternoon, it sparked widespread fear.

It forced the airport to stop departures during the busy weekend travel season temporarily.

"There is no danger to passengers or employees," the statement said, adding the investigation remains ongoing.

In a statement posted on Twitter, airport authorities stated the discharge was approximately 1:30 p.m. within the airport's security screening area. A spokeswoman for the Atlanta Police Department verified that no injuries had been recorded due to the accident.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a ground stop had been declared for the airport for all outgoing planes, but it was quickly restored. Airport authorities promptly issued an all-clear and said that regular operations would be resumed at the airport.

"There was an accidental discharge of a firearm near the main security checkpoint," Atlanta police Sgt. Jarius Daugherty said. "Officers are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident."

The gunshot fear occurs just as people are starting to travel for Thanksgiving, according to reports.

According to a TSA representative, the Transportation Security Administration inspected more than 2.2 million passengers at airports around the nation on Friday, the greatest checkpoint traffic for a single day since the epidemic started.

As panic erupted at one of the world's busiest airports, witnesses recounted scenes of bewilderment and chaos among the passengers.

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