Passenger flights at the Salt Lake City airport are grounded after Utah was hit by a 5.7 magnitude earthquake

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
  • Departing passenger flights at the Salt Lake City airport were grounded Wednesday morning after the area experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration evacuated the flight control tower at the airport because of the earthquake, the agency said in a statement.
  • Flights arriving to the airport are being directed to other airports, the FAA said.
  • All flights were previously grounded, but the airport has since allowed cargo and private planes to depart, an airport spokesperson said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Flights set to take off from Salt Lake City International Airport were grounded on Wednesday after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration evacuated the airport’s flight control tower because of the earthquake. All arriving flights to Salt Lake City are being directed to other airports, the FAA said in a statement.

All flights were grounded after the earthquake, but cargo and private planes have since been allowed to depart, an airport spokeswoman told Business Insider. Arriving flights were still being diverted as of Wednesday afternoon, the spokeswoman said.

The groundings have the potential to impact flights around the country, as Salt Lake City’s airport serves as a major hub for Delta Air Lines.

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake was the largest to hit Utah since a 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit the state in 1992, the University of Utah said. Dozens of aftershocks were felt in the area following the earthquake.

Videos on social media showed water falling inside parts of the airport on Wednesday. An alert posted to the airport’s website said the airport is “not currently operational” but that “facilities are structurally sound.”^tfw

Damage was seen throughout other parts of Salt Lake City, though no deaths or critical injuries were reported.

The Salt Lake Temple in the centre of the city, which is under construction, was damaged in the earthquake, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints told local outlet Fox 13. The statue on top of the temple was seen missing its trumpet.

While aftershocks were still felt as late as Wednesday afternoon, the Utah Department of Natural Resources said that another earthquake of a similar magnitude is unlikely.

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