Hours-long security lockdown at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam lifted
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An hours-long lockdown at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam that snarled traffic, suspended area tours and had visitors and personnel sheltering in place has been lifted.
The base said that all gates were opened about 1 p.m.
The lockdown started about 10 a.m., after authorities identified a “potential security incident.” Additional details on what prompted the scare were not immediately released, but authorities base security responded along with Honolulu police and the Federal Fire Department.
“We are grateful to the first responders who helped us investigate and secure the potential incident,” said Col. Tammie Harris, deputy joint base commander, in a news release.
“I want to assure everyone that we will do everything possible to maintain the operational readiness of JBPHH while protecting the safety of our base employees, our service members and their families.”
The incident forced tours at the USS Arizona Memorial to be temporarily suspended, and left personnel on base sheltering in place.
Visitors at the Battleship Missouri were also told to seek shelter.
Kiliona Palauni, a tour guide at Keawe Adventures, was taking a group of visitors through the Battleship Missouri when the lockdown started.
“People were sheltered in place in all the different sites,” he said.
“I have 11 clients myself and I was away from them. So my people are stuck inside the museum, but we’re in the officers mess hall upstairs and inside here, there are about 40 people spread around.”
He said after the lockdown was called “there was a sense of panic and urgency.”
“They said ‘move it, move it.’ You know, people were running from different parts of the outside decks. But now that we’re inside, everyone’s kind of chill.”
Meanwhile, visitors were turned away from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and USS Arizona Memorial when the lockdown started.
Braxton, who was visiting from Minnesota, said not getting to visit the USS Arizona was tough.
“We were trying to wait it out, but it was too much. I’m really sad because it was a big deal to come to Hawaii to see this stuff,” Braxton said.
Maggie Burreson, who is visiting from Dallas, Texas, called the entire episode nerve-wracking.
“It made me feel a little bit scared that they weren’t telling us any information but now that we know what’s happened and they’re doing what’s necessary, I feel better about it,” she said.
This story will be updated.
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