Portion of LAX Temporarily Evacuated After Stolen Car Leads To Security Breach
A portion of Los Angeles International Airport was temporarily evacuated Sunday morning after an arrest outside the terminal inadvertently led to a security breach. Today's incident comes just a week after false reports of a shooter led to panic and an evacuation at the airport.
According to a statement from Mayor Eric Garcetti, three auto theft suspects were apprehended Sunday during a traffic stop at LAX outside of Terminal 3 on the airport's lower level, leading airport security to temporarily move about 20 passengers onto the tarmac "out of an abundance of caution."
The L.A. Times reports that airport police pulled over the driver of a stolen vehicle around 9 a.m., and asked people on the sidewalk to move inside as they made the arrest. However some passengers who feared for their safety raced deeper into the airport, pushing past the TSA screening checkpoint without being properly screened.
“In an effort to control the crime scene, and for the public safety, officers ushered citizens off the sidewalk and back into the terminal, causing some concerned citizens to pass into the sterile screening area, and others to exit out of an emergency exits and onto the airfield,” Los Angeles Airport Police spokesman Rob Pedregon told CBS LA.
As a result of the breach, the terminal was temporarily closed and all passengers were evacuated before being rescreened.Screening at Terminal 3 had reopened by 10:45 a.m., according to a tweet from the airport's official account.