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Tourist Causes Panic at Cancun Airport After Thinking They Heard Gun Shots

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Authorities confirm that there was no gun shooting at the Cancun International Airport. Three advertising signs were knocked over accidentally, causing confusion among dozens of passengers, who thought the loud sound was due to a gun shooting. Authorities suspended operations in the area of the event temporarily.

A rumble interrupted this Monday’s routine at Cancun International Airport. Shortly before noon, the report of a series of detonations in Terminal 3 caused panic among tourists and employees who ran out searching for shelter, as seen in videos shared on social media. At first, local media reported a shooting after hearing what appeared to be gunshots. After moments of confusion, the authorities confirmed that the sounds were due to the accidental knocking down of three heavy advertising signs. Operations in the terminal were temporarily suspended.

The Quintana Roo authorities issued a statement clarifying the facts: “It was a false alarm produced by the misinterpretation of some passengers when they heard a shrill noise produced by the fall of 3 totem-type signs of approximately 50 kilos (20 lbs) each. They were accidentally knocked down by another traveler rushing to his boarding gate.” The response of the passengers, in any case, caused “the activation of the emergency and evacuation protocols of Terminal 3”.

In an official statement, it was reported that at 11:23 AM, an Alert 3 was issued after reports of an incident in which multiple versions of what was happening were handled. It was indicated that after a review from the Federal Civil Aviation Agency, the National Guard, the Secretariat of the Navy, and the National Guard, it was confirmed that there was no indication of a shooting. The Emergency Operational Center of Cancun International Airport assured that after a preliminary review of what happened in Terminal 3, showed no evidence of detonations from firearms or explosions.

Long Lines For Authorized Taxis May Help Fake Taxis

The Emergency Operational Center of the Cancun Airport reported that “The operations of Terminal 3 were suspended momentarily to guarantee the safety of passengers, which were never at risk, resuming minutes later. The security forces are currently carrying out the proper investigations to determine the cause that triggered the alert among passengers and airport users. At this time, this is what we know, we’re collecting additional data, and we will inform you about what happened today,” the statement said. 

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After the initial moments of confusion, the Prosecutor’s Office of Quintana Roo first reported that the “ongoing shooting” version was not confirmed but that a device from the luggage carrousel might have exploded. “We are waiting for the confirmation of the National Guard,” state prosecutor Óscar Montes de Oca said in a press release. On the other hand, the official has ruled out that there was ever any danger at the terminal and has assured that there are also no injured passengers in the airport terminal.


The Secretary of State Security, Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez, said on his Twitter account that “there were no injuries, shell casings or indications that confirm that there was ever a shooting.” In another statement, the authorities also confirmed that “this is an incident in which multiple versions are being handled” at the moment, “there are no indications of detonations or explosions in any area of the airport.”

In recent months, the Rivera Maya tourist corridor has had a series of events related to organized crime; however, the overall number of murders has fallen slightly in the last two years. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates also issued a Security Alert For U.S. Citizens regarding the Incident at Cancun Airport: “We are aware of reports of a security incident in Terminal Three at Cancun airport this morning. Authorities are on scene and responding. Follow instructions of local authorities and monitor local news for updates. U.S. citizens should contact loved ones directly or check-in on social media.”

This incident comes at one of the busiest months of this tourist destination. Spring breakers are coming in record numbers to vacation and party, with Cancun and Tulum ranking at the top spots for travelers in 2022.

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