Usain Bolt Running 100 Meters Likely the Indirect Cause of JFK Airport Evacuation

Jamaica's Usain Bolt powered over the line in 9.81sec to win the 100m gold in Rio

A gunshot and the “Lightning Bolt” make different sounds. That didn’t stop a traveler from thinking that the reaction to the latter sounded more like the crack of the former.

The New York Port Authority evacuated Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport on Sunday night. A deplaning passenger reported hearing a gunshot. Another worried traveler worried about a gunshot in Terminal 1.

“There are no reported injuries or arrests at this time,” the Port Authority explained. “Preliminary investigation does not indicate shots were fired at JFK.”

Authorities ultimately concluded that the traveler in Terminal 8 heard raucous “clapping and banging” in response to Usain Bolt running the distance from home plate down the line to the right-field wall in Yankee Stadium at a really, really fast pace.

They key piece of evidence? The call to the Port Authority at roughly 9:30 p.m. Eastern, right around the time the Jamaican crossed the finish line in Rio. Bolt didn’t unleash a speed-of-sound sonic boom but the sound of his speed tends to unleash a sonic boom of another sort.

Bolt ran a 9.81 to win his third gold medal in the event. American Justin Gatlin snagged a silver and Andre de Grasse brought home the bronze to Canada.


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