Bolt blamed for New York Air­port ter­ror scare

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Feed­back: leonec@fi­jisun.com.fj

New York: Poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion among po­lice, pri­vate se­cu­rity and other per­son­nel con­trib­uted to a mass panic that erupted at a New York City air­port when loud cheers for Usain Bolt some­how led to a false re­port of gun­shots, ac­cord­ing to a re­view by a team of top se­cu­rity of­fi­cials. Pas­sen­gers at Kennedy Air­port ran for the ex­its on Au­gust 14 af­ter cheer­ing at a ter­mi­nal bar dur­ing the Olympics was mis­taken for some­thing sin­is­ter. Panic spread to two other ter­mi­nals when news of a gun­man spread on so­cial me­dia, and po­lice re­sponded by draw­ing their weapons. A let­ter from the of­fi­cials to Gover­nor An­drew Cuomo and Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary Jeh John­son, made public on Mon­day, blamed both air­port em­ploy­ees and law en­force­ment for fu­elling the hys­te­ria by over­re­act­ing to sev­eral mis­taken re­ports of gun­shots, in­stead of seek­ing to calm trav­ellers. Among the more glar­ing mis­steps: At the height of the chaos, the flight crew of a Korean Air jet­liner de­ployed evac­u­a­tion chutes, “pro­duc­ing a ‘pop­ping’ sound that may have been mis­taken for gun­fire.”

The of­fi­cials also said that in the end, the air­port had no ef­fi­cient way to let trav­ellers know the threat wasn’t real. -NZ Her­ald

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