The incident, which occurred around 6 p.m., may be the worst security breach at a US airport in a decade.
In a major security breach at Los Angeles International Airport Thursday, a driver crashed his speeding car through a gate and led police on a chase over two runways while planes were landing and taking off.
Police say that the male driver of a gray Mazda hatchback, with the letters “SOS” written on the hood, turned off Imperial Highway on the south side of the airport and headed straight for the gate at the FedEx warehouse. After crashing through the chain-link gate, the driver sped past a line of FedEx jumbo-jets parked on the tarmac and then proceeded to speed across runways 25 Left and 25 Right. He did a u-turn and crossed them again.
On busy days, runways 25 Left and 25 Right have aircraft landing or taking off approximately every minute.
The pursuit came close to several bustling loading and unloading areas of LAX, though there were no collisions and no injuries reported.
Police chased the suspect to Atlantic Aviation, a private terminal for charter planes. They were able to surround the man and his hatchback with more than a dozen police cruisers and make the arrest.
Passengers inside Atlantic’s lobby had a front row seat to the pursuit and Los Angeles Police Department’s swift pursuit.
FedEx has not yet made a statement about the incident, though the company has already erected a new fence and placed security guards in front of the tarmac.