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JFK terminal is evacuated after security breach

Liz De La Torre

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From The Associated Press

NEW YORK – Hundreds of air passengers have had their travel plans disrupted after authorities evacuated a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City because of a security breach.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says travelers at Kennedy’s Terminal 8 who had been asked to leave the terminal are being re-screened.

The security breach apparently involved someone getting off a flight from Florida who opened a door that was supposed to be used only by airport workers and walked through.

Coleman said the breach happened before 3:30 p.m. and was recorded by security cameras.

A man was charged last week with breaching security at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey on Jan. 3. Flights were grounded for hours and passengers were re-screened.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) — A terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport was evacuated Saturday after someone opened a door to a secure area and set off an alarm, officials said.

The security breach apparently involved someone who left a first class American Airlines lounge at Kennedy’s Terminal 8, opened a door that was supposed to be used only by airport workers and walked through.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said it was unclear whether the person was a passenger. The breach, which happened before 3:30 p.m., was recorded by security cameras, he said.

The Transportation Security Administration said its agents and Port Authority police were searching for the person who opened the door.

All travelers at Kennedy’s Terminal 8 had to leave the terminal so they could be re-screened. Terminal 8 handles both domestic and international flights for American Airlines.

A spokesman for the airline, Charley Wilson, said some flights were being delayed, and some planes were waiting on the tarmac for permission to proceed to their gates.

Wilson wasn’t sure how long it would take to fully reopen the terminal.

The incident is the third evacuation in five months at airports that serve New York City.

A man was charged last week with breaching security at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Jan. 3. Flights were grounded for hours and passengers were re-screened while air safety officials searched for him.

A Rutgers University graduate student from China, Haisong Jiang, 28, was charged with trespassing in that incident. His arraignment is set for Jan. 28 in Newark.

In August, a terminal at LaGuardia airport was evacuated after police tackled a disturbed man who was carrying a device that looked like a bomb but turned out to be harmless.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
JFK terminal is evacuated after security breach