Las Vegas shooting: Is it safe to travel to the city? All you need to know

After a shooter opened fire at a music festival in Las Vegas, killing 50 and injuring 400, we look at whether travel will be affected

Simon Calder
Monday 02 October 2017 16:08 BST
(Getty Images)

As the horror of the deadliest shooting in modern US history unfolded, America’s ultimate resort city went into lockdown, with highways closed and flights diverted.

Large stretches of Las Vegas Boulevard, the iconic Strip, were sealed off as police sought to establish the scale of the massacre and cope with its aftermath.

“The Strip is sealed off,” tweeted James Cook of the BBC. Blue lights everywhere.”

At the airport, which is very close to the Strip and specifically the Mandalay Bay hotel, some flights were diverted as operations were stopped. Departures and arrivals began again after around an hour.

People stand on the street outside the Mandalay Bay hotel near the scene of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Las Vegas Boulevard
People stand on the street outside the Mandalay Bay hotel near the scene of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Las Vegas Boulevard (EPA/Paul Buck)

The Foreign Office quickly issued advice to British visitors, saying: “We are in contact with the local authorities and urgently seeking further information following a shooting incident in Las Vegas around the Mandalay Bay Hotel, on the city’s main strip. A police operation is ongoing.

It added: "The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has opened a dedicated telephone line for anyone concerned about specific individuals in the area around the Mandalay Bay Hotel (001 866 535 5654); if you're in the affected area, we recommend that you contact family and friends to let them know you're safe; the LVMPD has also opened a family reunification centre at its headquarters in Building B, 400 S. Martin L. King Blvd; a number of flights have been diverted from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport - you should check with your airline before travelling."

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department later tweeted: “Flamingo Rd is open both directions. Tropicana and Russell Rd remain closed at this time. Hotels are open for traffic except @MandalayBay.“

The Mandalay Bay is one of a dozen Las Vegas resorts owned by the giant MGM Resorts organisation.

The company said in a statement: “Law enforcement requested that we put hotels in the vicinity in lockdown to ensure guest safety.

“Our thoughts & prayers are with the victims of last night's tragic events. We’re grateful for the immediate actions of our first responders.”

Las Vegas is extremely popular with British holidaymakers, with at least 20 flights a week from London and Manchester. It is estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 UK visitors were in the city at the time of the attack.

British Airways' afternoon flight from Heathrow is scheduled to depart as normal.

The Canadian authorities warned citizens to “avoid the affected area and follow the instructions of local authorities,” adding: “The possession of firearms and the frequency of violent crime are generally more prevalent in the US than in Canada.”

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