HONOLULU (KFDX/KJTL) False reports of an active shooter at Honolulu’s airport triggered “pandemonium” and caused major delays Tuesday.
Thousands of outbound passengers had to be evacuated and re-screened after two laptops overheated in carry-on luggage. The computers started to smoke and apparently made noise that resembled gunshots or fireworks, officials said.
False reports of an active shooter and other conflicting information caused people to duck under chairs and flee in all directions to seek safety.
“We got off the plane and as we were walking down towards our luggage, we saw, heard and saw, a lot of commotion and there was 10/15 people running waving their arms saying, ‘go the other way, go the other way,’ and it looked like pandemonium, like something major was happening,” a witness to the events Alberto Vigen said.
“There was some smoke coming out of one of the scanners, and the TSA agents started yelling ‘fire!’ and told everyone to start running to get out. Six more came from the other side and started yelling, ‘run, get out run, there’s a fire,’ and everyone just started stampeding each other, and women were being knocked down, kids, people’s belongings were being trashed.” a witness to the event Ralph Giunta said.
According to a DOT spokesperson the incident impacted thousands of travelers arriving and departing from Honolulu’s airport during the busy summer travel season.
At least 30 outgoing flights were delayed.