McCar­ran Air­port fence breached by peo­ple flee­ing Las Ve­gas shoot­ing


About 300 peo­ple flee­ing the mass shoot­ing at Man­dalay Bay man­aged to break through the se­cu­rity fence sur­round­ing McCar­ran In­ter­na­tional, wan­dered onto an ac­tive air­field and brought flights to a halt, air­port of­fi­cials said. The fence was breached in two ar­eas as con­cert­go­ers from the Route 91 Har­vest Fes­ti­val streamed into the air­port look­ing for a place to hide, air­port spokeswoman Chris­tine Crews said.

Around 10:15 p.m. Sun­day — just seven min­utes af­ter gun­man Stephen Pad­dock started shoot­ing — the breach prompted air­port of­fi­cials to close the two par­al­lel run­ways on the air­port’s west­ern edge clos­est to the Strip, known as 1L/19R and 1R/19L. An hour later, run­ways 8L/26R and 8R/26L on the air­port’s south end were also closed, bring­ing traf­fic to a stand­still at the na­tion’s eighth-busiest air­port, Crews said.

The shut­down led to 25 flight di­ver­sions on Sun­day, with a ma­jor­ity of planes sent to Phoenix. Flights were also rerouted to air­ports in Los An­ge­les; On­tario, Cal­i­for­nia; Bull­head City, Ari­zona; Salt Lake City and Den­ver.

Af­ter bust­ing through the se­cu­rity fence, the pan­icked group scat­tered across the air­field, Crews said. About 30 of them man­aged to get as far as Al­le­giant Air’s main­te­nance fa­cil­ity on the air­port’s east end, com­pany spokeswoman Hi­larie Grey said. Once in­side, they re­ceived food, wa­ter, blan­kets and a chance to charge their cell­phones. Clothes were pro­vided to those whose pants or shirts were torn and snagged by bro­ken se­cu­rity fence.

Many oth­ers found refuge at fa­cil­i­ties closer to the air­port’s west­ern edge, in­clud­ing Sig­na­ture Flight Sup­port, which han­dles some of the pri­vate jets pass­ing through McCar­ran In­ter­na­tional. “We pro­vided a fa­cil­ity for any­body who needed a place to stay that night with food, wa­ter and some triage,” Sig­na­ture Flight Sup­port Gen­eral Man­ager Rita Car­rillo said.

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