Major Delays at Sacramento Airport After AT&T Cable Is Slashed


Sacramento International Airport experienced major flight delays on Thursday after an AT&T cable was deliberately slashed, cutting off internet service to at least two major airlines, the airport said.

The outage — which temporarily halted check-in services, primarily for Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines — occurred just before 1:20 a.m., disrupting flights for several hours, Scott Johnston, an airport spokesman, said by phone.

At the Southwest terminal, hundreds of people waited in long lines to check in before internet service was restored and normal operations resumed on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Johnston said. A service team, he added, had determined that the cable, about 2.5 miles from the airport, had been “cut intentionally.”

A spokeswoman for AT&T said in an email that the company had “restored internet and wireless service to affected customers.”

Amar Gandhi, a spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, said that the cable — which is about the width of a garden hose and attached to a telephone pole — had been cleanly slashed in one place about four or five feet from the ground in a manner that he said appeared to be “very precise” and “very targeted.”

“It’s not like it was some loose hanging wire,” he added. “It required some level of knowledge and or expertise to know what to cut, and how to do it.”

The authorities said that they did not have a suspect, adding that they were looking through video footage and following up on leads. They have not provided any information regarding a potential motive.

The Sacramento field office of the F.B.I. said in a statement that it was “investigating the disruption of communications at Sacramento International Airport” along with the sheriff’s office and could not comment further.

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services was also “monitoring the situation,” Amy Palmer, a spokeswoman for the office, said by phone.

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