LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - Guests in Terminal 1 of Los Angeles International Airport had to be removed from the terminal on Thursday morning and were forced to be re-screened by TSA.
This comes after a power outage knocked out electricity for nearly four hours at LAX on Wednesday, affecting everything from lighting to passenger bridges, from terminals to planes, before power was restored.
At 6:50 a.m., LAX officials said they believe the rescreening process will take approximately one hour. At 11:30 a.m. LAX officials said that all operations had returned to normal at Terminal 1.
In a statement, TSA said: "Due to an overnight power outage @flyLAXairport, several flights were
canceled and passengers were deplaned in Terminal 1. An airline granted passengers whose flights were canceled access to their checked bags, resulting in the unintentional introduction of prohibited items into the secure area of the airport. Out of an abundance of caution, TSA leadership at LAX made
the decision to re-screen the passengers. TSA has fully staffed the security checkpoint in Terminal 1 and all lanes are open, ensuring that all passengers will be screened as efficiently and quickly as possible. About 1,500 passengers are affected."
According to airport officials, Southwest Airlines reported 11 cancellations and 15 delays associated with Terminal 1's re-screening. "Passengers flying with Southwest should contact the airline for the latest on their flight," LAX Airport said in a tweet.
Southwest was holding passengers on arriving flights Thursday morning "in order to maintain the sterility of the departure concourse" until the re-screening resumes in Terminal 1.
Heavy traffic on northbound Sepulveda entering the departures level caused traffic to be diverted to the arrivals level on Thursday due to backups caused by the re-screening process.
The outage struck about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and was caused by a power 'bump' at an off-airport Los Angeles Department of Water and Power substation, which caused a power disruption throughout the airport, according to airport officials. It caused 21 flight cancellations and at least seven diversions of flights, according to an airport official.
Power was restored within an hour to terminals 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Terminals 1, 7 and 8 remained with only emergency power.
LADWP personnel were called in to restore power to those terminals and the city Department of Transportation was summoned to reset traffic signals in the terminal area.
Power was restored to Terminal 7 around 9:40 p.m., Terminal 8 about 9:50 and Terminal 1 around 10 p.m. Power was restored to Parking Structures 1 and 7 and the LAX gateway pylons shortly thereafter, an airport official said.
Passengers on at least some Southwest Airlines planes at Terminal 1, where the airline is located, were unable to disembark because the jet bridges were not functioning.
Around 9:30 p.m., officials said Southwest Airlines had canceled 18 flights scheduled to leave Wednesday night.
Three United flights were canceled, seven others were diverted and 15 more were delayed, officials said.
"During the outage, Los Angeles Airport Police deployed traffic officers to the (Central Terminal Area) and surrounding streets to assist with traffic flow,'' the airport said. Officers were also assigned to the ticketing areas to help with crowd management and provide directions for passengers, as well as maintain security at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.
An update of the incident will be provided after it is reviewed by the airport and more information is received from the LADWP, officials said.
CNS contributed to this report.