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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Passengers at Hartsfield Allowed Back Into the Airport

Aired November 16, 2001 - 14:35   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go back to Hartsfield right now. Galen Crader, a CNN editor with us by telephone out at the airport. And can you hear me OK?

GALEN CRADER, CNN EDITOR: Yes, Bill, I can.

HEMMER: What are they telling you? What are they saying?

CRADER: Well, I have to tell you I'm in the middle of the crowd right now, and we have been hearing several things. A couple of them are obviously that a man that was caught going through security had some weapons in his possession, and was -- ran through security apparently, came back, was discovered, they brought him out -- I believe that this man has been apprehended.

But in the meantime, the entire population of Hartsfield Airport has been shuttled outside. We're all standing outside on the -- just outside the baggage claim area. Every single person that was in this -- in the concourse has been offered outside now, and so we're all just standing out here, waiting to be accepted back in and to catch our flights.

HEMMER: Galen, listen, it looks like a mess on videotape and through the live pictures. Is it indeed a mess there?

CRADER: It was. I mean, it took more than an hour just to get everybody out of the individual concourses, because all of the trains were shut down, all of the -- even the moving sidewalks were shut down. So, a good hour and half or so just to get all of the passengers.

And keep in mind, I was on the plane to Las Vegas at the time, and we had been on this plane for an hour when they finally came on the intercom and told everybody they had to leave the plane. So, I think there were -- this was probably not a unique story, I think there were probably several planes that had to completely disembark and leave the terminal, leave the concourse and come outside here, which is where I would say anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 people are right now standing outside Hartsfield.

HEMMER: Listen, Galen, I don't know if you can see what we are broadcasting right now, but our live camera at the airport shows some people moving what appears to be back toward that terminal. Are you seeing movement where you are? CRADER: We're not. We saw some movement just a couple of moments ago, but it stopped. It looked like they were moving some disabled people, perhaps, back into the concourse. I saw some wheelchairs going back in, but it looks to me as though nobody is moving right now.

HEMMER: Galen, are you on the north terminal or the south terminal? Because what we are seeing right now is the south, because it's marked with the red sign here.

CRADER: You know, that might be good news, because I'm at the north, I'm in the blue area. So if they are starting to move people back into the south terminal, that might be a good omen for us here, because we are stuck and in the middle of it.

HEMMER: Well, stuck and in the middle. Galen Crader, good luck, OK? Hope you can get back on that flight. Enjoy Vegas ultimately, if you get there, OK?

CRADER: Thanks so much, Bill.

HEMMER: All right now.

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