Air Canada passengers, employees in Fort Lauderdale ‘safe’

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TORONTO – Air Canada and WestJet say all their passengers and employees at the Fort Lauderdale, Fl., airport are accounted for and safe following a mass shooting that has left several people dead.

U.S. authorities say a lone shooter opened fire at city’s international airport this afternoon, killing five people and injuring eight before he was taken into custody.

They say the shooting took place inside Terminal 2, which serves Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick says in an email that passengers on the airline’s departing flights were safely evacuated on the tarmac.

Those on flights arriving from Montreal and Toronto were being held off gate while the terminal remained closed.

The Fort Lauderdale airport has suspended operations as law enforcement authorities rush to the scene.

Fitzpatrick says Air Canada has implemented a rebooking policy for passengers travelling to and from Fort Lauderdale on Friday and Saturday.

WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart says the airline is monitoring the situation closely and believes its passengers and staff are safe.

Stewart said one flight was holding on the ground awaiting departure to Ottawa at the airport’s Terminal 1.

“We are following the lead of law enforcement officials at the scene,” Stewart said in an email.

A Twitter user from Manitoba named Liam said he was at the airport when the shooting happened.

“Im at the ft lauderdale airport and just went through the most terrifying experience in my life,” read the tweet.