LAX Emergency Evacuation Deemed False Alarm; Airport Says Emergency Terminal Message Was Accidental

LAX False Alarm
Los Angeles International Airport passengers were greeted with an evacuation warning Monday night. Airport officials confirmed the message was activated accidentally.

Visitors and passengers of Los Angeles International Airport were greeted with a shocking message Monday night when the airport’s flight-status boards accidentally flashed an emergency evacuation message.

Passengers were the first to notify police after the message appeared behind ticket counters at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Passengers said the message read: “An emergency has been declared in the terminal. Please evacuate.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that airport personnel initially believed the message was the work of a hacker. Authorities investigated the affected computer systems but did not identify any suspects.

Airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said the emergency preprogrammed message was accidentally activated by a Tom Bradley International Terminal contracted airline worker who was attempting to program airline check-in information.

“The airport’s information technology staff will be looking at ways to ensure this accident does not happen again in the future,” Castles said.

The message originally aired at 9:47 p.m. and was removed 8 minutes later. Castles reported that no passengers were evacuated due to the mix-up.

On Sunday, one terminal at John F. Kennedy airport was evacuated after authorities receieved reports of a suspicious package on the premises. Hundreds of passengers were forced to gather outside of the New York airport during a 90-minute investigation. Authorities uncovered the package was a tube of toothpaste wrapped in duck tape.

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