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Travellers have been evacuated from two terminals at John F Kennedy International airport in New York following apparently unfounded reports of a shooting incident.
The New York Police Department told AP officers were responding to reports of shots fired but could not confirm them. An investigation was ongoing, a spokesman said.
Port Authority police said they received the reports of shots fired at Terminal 8 near the departures area around 9:30pm Sunday. A short time later, police said they closed Terminal 1 after there were additional reports of shots fired.
But shortly later a statement from the Port Authority said early investigations had found no evidence of gunshots being fired.
View image on Twitter[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cp3l3xwW8AAd4Y5.jpg:small[/img]
The NYPD’s chief of special operations said on Twitter that no shots had been fired.
The security alert led to travel chaos for thousands.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced was a “full ground stop” on all air traffic arriving at JFK until 11.30pm. Some flights were being diverted and Flightradar.com said delays in the region were increasing.
View image on Twitter[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cp3mhoAXgAAsJ1h.jpg:small[/img]
An expressway approaching the airport also was shut down.
Flights started departing and passengers were allowed back into some terminals at around midnight.
Images posted on social media during the evacuations showed scores of people standing outside the airport terminals.
Everyone is being kicked out of the terminal. Police on alert!#JFK
11:58 AM - 15 Aug 2016 · John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, United States
Travellers who had been evacuated from the building said police told them it was “not safe” to stay inside.
View image on Twitter[img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cp3SloqWYAEzR3u.jpg:small[/img]
People inside the terminal described panic when the evacuation order was given.
I tried to grab my belongings but when TSA security took off sprinting I left everything.
12:27 PM - 15 Aug 2016
One passenger onboard a plane that had landed at JFK said the aircraft was being held on the tarmac due to an “emergency”.
JFK: Pilot on this British Airways flight says an "emergency in another part of the airport." Been waiting to disembark for 1.5 hours.
12:34 PM - 15 Aug 2016
JFK: Captain tells us it "might be some time" before we disembark due to an "incident that is occurring" in the airport.
12:43 PM - 15 Aug 2016
JFK, which has six terminals, is the busiest international air passenger gateway into the United States. More than 50 million passengers travelled through the airport in 2014.
This article first appeared on www.theguardian.com
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