Ireland Irish couple tell of 'pandemonium' during Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting

10:55  12 january  2017
10:55  12 january  2017 Source:   MSN

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An Irish couple caught up in the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting terror have spoken of their relief at surviving the extremely frightening experience. The sheer pandemonium and fear on view was quite frightening and what made things worse was not being informed for long periods apart from social media. “We were returning home and had stayed in an airport hotel the night before so we had checked in early.

Sorry, the page you requested has an error. You can refresh your browser or return home. 90-year-old arrested for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale wptv.com.

Esteban Santiago-Ruiz © Getty Esteban Santiago-Ruiz An Irish couple caught up in the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting terror have spoken of their relief at surviving the extremely frightening experience.

Pat and Marie Hamilton from Blackrock, near Dundalk, Co Louth were ready to return home from a Christmas break in Florida last Friday afternoon when a gunman opened fire in the crowded terminal.

Five people were killed and at least eight others suffered gunshot injuries, while dozens more were hurt in the chaos that followed.

The Dundalk couple returned home on Tuesday morning and while they were shaken by the ordeal, they are counting their blessings that they survived to tell the tale.

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Crowds of passengers wait outside Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood International Airport after a shooting in the baggage claim area. Dr. Ralph Guarneri, a trauma surgeon at Broward Health Medical Center, said none of the victims who were taken to the hospital have died. He said only two of the five trauma victims underwent surgery. × Latest News. Accused airport killer identified as war veteran with criminal record. S. Fla. student sends mom 'goodbye' text during FLL shooting . Doctors tell of 'controlled chaos' after Fort Lauderdale airport shootings .

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“It was a frightening experience as you just don’t expect something like that but overall we have to count ourselves fortunate as there were others who weren’t so lucky”, explained Pat, who is well known in GAA circles having served as Louth County Board Secretary for a number of years.

“It was an experience which we would not like to go through again but we were some of the lucky ones. The sheer pandemonium and fear on view was quite frightening and what made things worse was not being informed for long periods apart from social media.

“We were returning home and had stayed in an airport hotel the night before so we had checked in early. We were sitting having a cup of coffee when the whole thing kicked off.

“It started on the floor below us and then he came up the stairs. It was only about 20 yards away from us and we could hear the shots being fired.

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The couple had flown to Fort Lauderdale on Friday to join the rest of their family for a cruise, WILE-FM reported. >> Ohio woman among victims in Fort Lauderdale airport shooting . "She texted me back about an hour and a half later saying ‘Please call me,'" Jessica Winbauer told The Associated Press, holding back tears. That’s when Ann Andres broke the news: her husband was one of the five victims. >> Fort Lauderdale airport shooter charged, could face death penalty.

"Everybody just started running and diving on the floor so we just did the same. There was a lot of panic and it was really frightening.

“A security guard appeared and ushered people out of the terminal but it became almost a stampede and people were falling and being walked on as everybody tried to get out.

“We were outside for about 40 minutes and were in the process of returning when there was a shout of ‘active shooter’ and another stampede resulted”, explained Pat who added that there was a third scare that resulted in the crowd rushing onto the runway.

  Irish couple tell of 'pandemonium' during Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Eventually the couple was part of a group taken to a hangar where people were attended to by paramedics.

“One of the most frightening things was that so many families and friends got separated in the mayhem and then couldn’t find each other. People had lost mobile phones and couldn’t get in touch.

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Their lives ended suddenly, tragically, in a storm of gunfire at Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood International Airport . But those who died in the shooting Friday filled their lives up until that moment with love, ambition and achievement. Adam Angeroth, who has known the couple for eight years and is Kari Oehme’s hairdresser, told the station the couple went on cruises every year and that he had just done her hair and nails in preparation for the trip. Kari Oehme works for CommScope, a telecommunications company, across the Missouri River in Omaha, Nebraska.

A gunman opened fire at Fort Lauderdale -Hollywood airport , a major tourist hub in Florida, killing five people and injuring eight, as panicked travelers fled for safety. The suspect, who was in possession of a military ID, was in custody and being questioned by the FBI over the shooting that shut down Told the flight attendant to let us off the tarmac, we ran to hide behind some luggage carts.” US President Barack Obama, who has been briefed on the situation, told ABC News in an interview set to air Sunday that “these kinds of tragedies have happened too often during the years that I’ve been president.”

"There was one woman running around trying to find her child and was fearing the worst but thankfully he was found safe”, he continued.

Later on patrons from Terminal 2 including the couple area were interviewed and photographed before being taken by bus to a holding area at the Miami Cruise Port Everglades.

While those in the airport were unable to get much concrete information from authorities, the wonders of modern technology ensured that Pat and Marie were kept informed from home.

“The first thing we did was ring our son Cathal to let him know that we were all right and he was then able to follow the events on the news and let us know what was happening”, he added.

Pat was able to book a flight home on Tuesday as he waited for Delta to organise accommodation that evening. However, the chaos at the airport meant that there was a queue of about 600 people for taxis that were finding it almost impossible to get through security, while the bus service to hotels was also very limited.

They eventually reached their hotel at 4am.

“We were very shaken by the whole experience and it is only when you see the names and photos of the people who died that you realise just how lucky we are.

“We would like to thank our USA relatives, along with Phil and Eamon Smyth (formerly of Blackrock) and their family for their generosity. Also the Irish Embassy for their support, all who were in touch over the weekend and son Cathal at home who kept family and friends fully briefed at all times.”

Esteban Santiago-Ruiz, a 26-year- old Iraq war veteran, has appeared in court in Florida in connection with the shooting.

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