FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s a day that still haunts passengers and workers.
January 6th marks the one year anniversary of the mass shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“I don’t think anyone thought of planning for evacuating an entire airport,” says Broward County mayor Beam Furr.
Nearly a year ago accused gunman Esteban Santiago opened fire at a luggage carousel in terminal two and killed five people.
Kim Cameron works feet away from where it happened and says some of the people who lived through it remain traumatized.
“We talk about it,” Cameron said. “It was a horrifying day but I think people are much more aware of what’s around them.”
The accused shooter was taken into custody within two minutes of the shooting, but false reports of additional gunfire caused panic and stampedes.
Last August an independent report found that poor planning, training, communication and lack of passenger help made the crisis at the airport even worse.
Since then the county has worked on implementing changes at the airport.
The Broward Aviation Department now has emergency supplies for stranded passengers including cots, water and toiletries.
Workers are undergoing security awareness training. A public alert warning system is being developed and the airport will host an active shooter drill in April.
Mayor Furr says the changes are a work in progress and that the traveling public should feel safe.
In 2017, 32 million people passed through the airport and that number could top 33 million in 2018.
“I would say it has opened our eyes and all airports around the country,” says Furr.
He says all airports are watching the changes being made at FLL so they can prepare to handle a similar crisis.
Broward sheriff Scott Israel has defended his agency’s handling of the mass shooting but has added law enforcement at the airport and called on surrounding police agencies to work on improving communication and training.
This Saturday the airport will have a moment of silence at the time the shots rang out a year ago.