FORT LAUDERDALE-HOLLYWOOD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting was traumatic for so many, and some passengers who just got their suitcases back are dealing with another shock: not everything is inside. 7’s Brian Entin has more.
Gunshots, and then panic at FLL. It’s a day none of the passengers will ever forget: running for their lives out onto the tarmac.
Stephen Castro: “Pandemonium broke out in my terminal. When I turned and looked, there were just hundreds and hundreds of people running at me.”
Stephen Castro says Jan. 6 was one of the worst days of his life. It was such a scary scene that Stephen and around 12,000 others didn’t think twice about leaving their 23,000 bags behind.
Stephen Castro: “The bag was at my feet and never even crossed my mind to take it. I needed to get out and get to safety.”
Ten days after the shooting…
Stephen Castro: “So here is the bag.”
Stephen’s suitcase showed up.
Stephen Castro: “When I opened up the bag, this was the zippered compartment here where I had my cash and wallet.”
All that was left was this money clip. His $500? Gone.
Stephen Castro: “Who would go through the bags that were left in the terminal for people who were running for their life?”
And Stephen is not alone. An airport spokesman says others are also complaining about missing valuables.
Greg Meyer, spokesperson for FLL: “We expect that number to grow because as people start to go through their things, and they think they are missing something, we have to verify the validity of whether the item was actually in there, and that is going to be a difficult and daunting task.”
They’ve launched an investigation and are reviewing surveillance video. The county has hired an outside company to sort the luggage.
Greg Meyer: “At this point, we don’t really think the problem was in the handling of the items. If something did happen, we think it was before the items came to the Aviation Department and the company that was handling it.”
Stephen wants them to get the bottom of it, and it has nothing to do with the money.
Stephen Castro: “If the airport deems I am able to get the $500 back, I am going to donate the $500 to the families so they can donate the money to charities in their name, so this isn’t about the $500. It’s 100 percent about catching the person who had the nerve to go through the people’s bags and steal from them on such a horrific day.”
While the investigation into who stole items from the bags moves forward, the airport is still working to reunite people with their belongings.
They’re launching a website with pictures to help people identify bags they left behind:
1. Log into www.global-bms.com.
2. Enter FLLbaggage as the username and Aviation as the password.
3. Search for your item using categories or see the entire list. View the photograph and read the item description.
4. After you identify your item, follow the instructions provided to claim it. Once the company can positively match the item to you, they will ship the item.
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