Passengers at Los Angeles International Airport received a scare on Monday night when multiple flight status displays warned of an emergency and told passengers to evacuate. Officials early Tuesday called the message an accident.
Passengers in the Tom Bradley International Terminal alerted police at 9:47 p.m. on Monday, when monitors behind ticketing counters read "An emergency has been declared in the terminal. Please evacuate."
Police swarmed the terminal looking for whoever was responsible. At first, operations officials thought the message was the work of a hacker, but discovered an airline contractor accidentally overrode the flight display system, LAX spokeswoman Nancy Castles told the LA Times.
"After the mistake was discovered, airport staff removed the message from all the monitors by 9:54 p.m.," Castles wrote in an email.
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The contractor was "programming airline check-in information into a set of monitors for a particular flight when he accidentally activated the pre-programmed emergency terminal evacuation message," Castles explained. "The airport's information technology staff will be looking at ways to ensure this accident does not happen again in the future."
Los Angeles World Airports recently completed a $737 million renovation to the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal “to enhance service and convenience to the passengers and tenants who use the terminal.”