Man dead after shots at Houston airport

HOUSTON (REUTERS) - A man died after shots were fired on Thursday in a terminal at the Houston Intercontinental Airport, sending panicking passengers diving for cover and prompting a security lockdown and the suspension of some flights.

Ms Roxanne Mena, spokesman for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, confirmed the death and said that the body was still at the airport by mid afternoon.

There were no other injuries or suspects involved in the shooting, Houston Police spokesman Jodi Silva said. The dead man was not identified.

The incident at Terminal B of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport prompted a security lockdown and a suspension of flights in and out of the terminal by the Federal Aviation Authority.

A United States (US) government official later said the situation had been contained.

Police said the armed man was shot near a ticket counter outside the security perimeter. It was not clear when he died or whether he had shot himself.

Pat Price, a passenger at the terminal who was eating lunch at the food court when the shots rang out, said he was only about 50 yards (meters) from where the incident took place.

"We heard a few what turned out to be shots really loud ...

Myself and about 10 people dove on top of each other in the corner. There was big-time panic," he said.

Price said people were already jittery after the Boston Marathon bombings and passengers were running for cover everywhere.

"We were just looking for a place to hide," Price said.

Terminal B was still on lockdown by mid afternoon although flights were going in and out of the airport in other terminals.

United Airlines said it requested the ground stop of flights and said a few of its United Express flights had been affected.

No other details of the incident were immediately available from police.

The shooting happened just a day before the gun rights organization National Rifle Association (NRA) begins its annual conference in Houston.

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