4 injured after gun goes off on plane at Atlanta airport

Image copyright AFP Image caption Officials said the airport shooting is likely to be an accident

Four people were injured after a gun discharged on a plane at the airport in Atlanta, police have confirmed.

Police initially said there was an active shooter, sending hundreds of people scurrying from the terminal.

That was downgraded to “accidental” injuries at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The airport tweeted that the plane was a Delta flight, and that no one was hurt on board.

“Passengers evacuated the area after the incident and all the passengers are safe,” police said.

The airport is among the busiest in the world, which means travellers are inconvenienced when there are security incidents.

ABC News reported that the incident occurred at around 1400 local time (0900 GMT).

Gerald Comeau, who was waiting at the airport for a flight home to Canada, told the BBC that he heard gunshots.

“I jumped down,” he said. “I saw everything turn blue as people were falling and pushing each other.”

Mr Comeau added: “I did hear that four people had been injured from a possible gunshot.”

Image copyright AFP Image caption Some passengers were evacuated after the incident

Alex Tremblay, a student, told BBC News: “I think there was an explosion and then a whole bunch of people ran.”

Georgia Public Safety Commissioner Brian Nichols said three people had been injured, but provided no further details.

He said they were injured “on scene, after officers located the incident at the airport”.

He added that he did not know why the gun went off.

Images of the airport posted on social media showed a section of one terminal full of people running for the exit with small explosions audible.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Public officials initially warned passengers to take cover and said there was an active shooter

Delta, which flies from Atlanta to nearly 70 destinations, has sent a plane to pick up passengers and reschedule those affected by the evacuation.

At least 80 flights have been cancelled and 22 rerouted, according to Flightaware.com, which tracks flights.

Delta said in a statement that the shooting was “not connected to an incident involving a plane on the ground at the airport” earlier in the day.

Police are said to be at the scene, but there is no further information on how they are handling the incident.

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