There were some tense moments at the Calgary International Airport following false reports of an active shooter inside the building on Friday afternoon.
The call came in just after 5 p.m. An announcement was made over the intercom urging everyone to leave the building because there was a shooter inside.
Travel blogger Tamara Elliott was waiting to catch a flight when the announcements came. She said there were three in total.
“They were like ‘Everyone needs to evacuate. There’s an active shooter,'” Elliott said.
“My husband and I just started running. We couldn’t hear any shots or anything, so we weren’t 100 per cent concerned, but we knew it was serious if they were saying it over the intercom.”
Elliott described a scene of chaos, with people running in all directions, while others looked confused by what was happening.
She was part of a group that took direction from an Air Canada employee and ended up locked in a terminal, receiving instructions on how they could leave safely if need be.
Police determined that the initial reports were false after a short investigation. The overhead announcement was made as “an extreme precaution,” officers told Global News.
A tweet from the airport’s official Twitter account said initial reports were incorrect, but that operations were returning to normal.
Jody Moseley, the Calgary Airport Authority’s senior director of communication and stakeholder relations, said staff are trained to react very quickly to reports of dangerous incidents like this one, which is why everything happened so quickly.
“We have notification systems to make sure staff are notified so they can protect themselves and passengers,” Moseley said. “(We’re) always going to err on the side of caution to make sure our staff and passengers are safe.”
She also asked anyone who had questions or concerns to reach out.
“We are really engaged on social media feeds, answering any questions (people) have,” Moseley said. “The care and the concern of our passengers and our staff is the first priority for us. So keep talking to us.”
Some flights were delayed due to the incident, but Moseley said staff were on hand working to ensure everything returned to normal.