FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - Thousands of travelers and others at the busy Fort Lauderdale airport during the massacre that left five dead were kept on lockdown for more than six hours -- some reliving their fears through false reports of a second shooting; others stuck on planes, or in their cars awaiting word from loved ones; and many just amassed at the tarmac hoping for a green light to head home.
"People were extremely emotional, crying, horrified," said Constance McIntyre, 53, who hid in a bathroom stall during the reports of a second shooting. "I didn't even know if it was a safe place. You feel so vulnerable there. It was stressful and terrifying."
She and her husband, Vincent McIntyre, had arrived about 1 p.m. to drop off their daughter for a flight to Jamaica at Terminal 4. He soon found out that at Terminal 2, the gunman had opened fire moments earlier. And now, they were part of the second wave of panic. People who heard the reports of another round of shots ran toward Terminal 4. TV news footage showed people ducking behind vehicles and hiding as they again ran.
Vincent McIntyre said that at one point he heard a commotion in the parking area and moments later saw officers searching for people.
"We saw them running toward some guys with their guns drawn, and people around them scattered. They tackled two men and got their bags," he said.
He said they put one of the suitcases in a bright yellow container and then heard over the speakers that authorities were going to conduct a controlled explosion of a suspicious package.
In the terminal next to the one where the shooting happened, members of the University of Vermont women's swim team -- 37 athletes and five coaches -- were caught in the panic. They didn't witness the shooting, but a stampede forced them all out onto the tarmac, coach Gerry Cournoyer told The Associated Press.
"We hear screams from the other end of our terminal down by security, and we hear 'get down, get down, get down,' and we see a mad stampede," he said.
Several team members were injured in the rush. One has a broken foot, another a sprained ankle and several have concussions, Cournoyer said.
The women are handling the emotional trauma well, despite a long day of confusion, the coach said. Many still have items in the airport they abandoned, including IDs, shoes and laptops.
"It's an extremely emotional day," Cournoyer said.
Ronnie Coutu, a 38-year-old Raleigh, North Carolina, businessman, said he spent hours on a Southwest Airlines plane before he had to be evacuated because of a diabetic emergency.
"The airport did a good job trying to keep up," Coutu said as he left the emergency room. "They brought water, food and dumped the lavatories."
He and his wife, Ashley Lambert, said there was confusion on the plane when it landed in Fort Lauderdale and sat unmoving on the tarmac. Then another passenger yelled, "There's been a shooting," and a flight attendant confirmed it, they said.
After sunset, McIntyre and his family were still at the airport waiting for his daughter, whose flight was grounded, to come out. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said the airport would remain closed until the entire facility was secure.
About 6:30 p.m., SWAT team members began escorting the people who had been standing in the check-in area of Terminal 2 to a parking garage.
About 7:15 p.m., with all flights still grounded, authorities said travelers with vehicles were being allowed to leave the airport and others were being taken in buses to a seaport terminal nearby. Flights had resumed Saturday, though the terminal where the shooting happened remained closed.
Associated Press writer Adriana Gomez-Licon contributed from Miami.