FBI Involved With Atlanta Airport Blackout Probe; No Sign of Terror - NBC Southern California
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

FBI Involved With Atlanta Airport Blackout Probe; No Sign of Terror

The blackout stranded thousands of passengers on grounded jets and in darkened concourses and led to the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights just ahead of the frenzied holiday travel period

    Winter Olympics PyeongChang 2018 Medal Count
    Country
    Total
    1
    Norway
    13141037
    2
    Canada
    108927
    3
    Germany
    137626
    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Atlanta Passengers Scramble On Day After Outage

    Passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport scramble to resume their travels after an electrical fire shut down the world's busiest airport for more than 10 hours. (Published Monday, Dec. 18, 2017)

    The FBI is part of the probe into what caused a fire that knocked out power to the world's busiest airport in Atlanta, but an agency spokesman said Tuesday there was no sign of anything connected to terrorism.

    "There's no indication at this point of anything nefarious," FBI spokesman Kevin Rowson said.

    The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has also been involved in the investigation, Georgia Power spokesman Craig Bell said.

    "We're bringing everything we have to bear to the situation to make sure this doesn't happen again," Bell said Tuesday.

    Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    [NATL] Pigeon Beauty Contest Held in Iraq

    More than 300 trumpeter pigeons competed in an Iraqi beauty contest. It’s the first of its kind in the country, according to pageant organizers.

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018)

    No conclusions have been drawn as to the cause of the fire, which took out the airport's power supply and also its backup electricity for about 11 hours Sunday. The blackout stranded thousands of passengers on grounded jets and in darkened concourses and led to the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights just ahead of the frenzied holiday travel period.

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the main hub for Delta Air Lines, is a crucial cog in the nation's air travel system. Delays there typically ripple across the nation because so many U.S. and international flights are routed through the Atlanta hub.

    Because of the magnitude of Sunday's outage, "we want to be able to rule out any possible scenario that wasn't equipment malfunction," Bell said.

    "We really don't expect any answers like that to come forth for a few days," he said.

    The power company is working with the airport to explore how to prevent the situation from happening again.

    Among ideas being discussed: Encasing in concrete the area that holds key electric equipment, or moving parts of the system to other areas. The blaze took out the main power and the backup system because the fire burned through parts of both in the same underground utility tunnel, authorities have said.

    NRA Chief: It's Time 'to Harden Our Schools'

    [NATL] NRA Chief: It's Time 'to Harden Our Schools'

    NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference a week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, arguing it is time “to harden our schools.”

    (Published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018)

    Delta and other carriers said they expected to be running normally Tuesday. But passengers trying to catch Tuesday morning flights faced wait times of up to an hour just to get through the main security checkpoint in the domestic terminal, the airport's website showed.

    No matter how fast Delta and other airlines move, it will take a few days to get the hundreds of thousands of grounded passengers to their final destinations, said Robert Mann, president of an airline consulting firm in Port Washington, New York. In rare cases, some passengers won't arrive until Thursday, he said.

    "There are just so few seats available during a peak holiday week, that's just going to take a lot of flights with four or five seats apiece," Mann said.

    Hartsfield-Jackson serves an average of 275,000 passengers a day. Nearly 2,500 planes arrive and depart each day.

    On Tuesday — two days after the outage — passengers were still sleeping in the atrium area that's often used for events aimed at showcasing the world's busiest airport. Video from news outlets showed passengers sprawled out on benches and chairs, and luggage piled up in a nearby area of the domestic terminal.

    Mann said the rebooking of passengers was probably complicated by the large number of inexperienced travelers this time of year.

    Fla. Students Stage Walkouts After Mass Shooting

    [NATL-MI] Students Walk Out of Class to Protest Gun Laws

    NBC 6's Darryl Forges is at one of several locations where students left class for a period of time Wednesday, one week after the Parkland school tragedy.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018)

    "They're more elderly, they're more young people, they're more infrequent travelers," he said. "All these folks are going to require a lot of face time a lot of hand-holding."

    Associated Press writers Tom Krisher, David Koenig, Don Schanche Jr., Kate Brumback, Johnny Clark, and Robert Ray contributed to this report.