A California man who was jailed in Las Vegas on suspicion of causing a loud noise that sparked panic and travel delays at Harry Reid International Airport, US had been arrested at the airport less than 24 hours earlier for allegedly causing a disturbance near a ticket counter.
The sharp sound of a door closing or a trash can toppling – apparently mistaken for gunfire – caused passengers to abandon security lines about 4.30am on Sunday (local time). More loud noises reverberated through the airport’s busy Terminal 1 as metal posts were knocked over in the chaos, Las Vegas police Officer Larry Hadfield said.
Stefan Mathias Hutchison’s alleged role causing the sound was not immediately described.
“The initial sound was a door or trash can falling,” Hadfield said. “That triggered patrons to leave lines, which caused stanchions to fall, causing a succession of loud sounds.”
No serious injuries were reported by airport officials, but social media posts showed people running and, later, crowded in concourses of the terminal that serves most domestic flights.
Dozens of commercial flights in and out of Las Vegas were cancelled or delayed throughout the day, and thousands of people were affected. Passengers who had been screened by Transportation Security Administration were required to re-screen at security checkpoints before boarding their flights.