Software glitch caused shutdown of Atlanta Hartsfield airport

Atlanta (GA) - Officials with the US Transportation and Safety Administration said today that a bomb scare last Wednesday at Hartsfield - the world's busiest airport - was caused by a software glitch. In order to keep security screeners alert, software periodically projects pictures of bombs and other dangerous devices onto their screens. Shortly afterwards, some text is supposed to appear saying, "This is a test." On Wednesday, the entire airport was shut down for two hours after that all-important warning text failed to appear.

Seeing the fake bomb image appeared without the message, both security screeners and supervisors manually opened passengers' bags, but could not find any device. This led them to believe that a bomb had already passed through the security area. All flights were paused and the airport was evacuated, while law enforcement officials searched the rest of the terminal in vain.