JFK Airport Terminal Evacuated over ‘Security Incident,’ Later Cleared by Bomb Squad

Photo taken on Jan. 29, 2022 shows empty Check-in desks at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the United States. Winter storm Kenan is bringing heavy snow and wind gusts to New York City and surrounding areas on Saturday. Snowfall at John F. Kennedy International Airport exceeded 5 …
Winston Zhou/Xinhua/Getty Images

A “security incident” prompted an evacuation at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City Sunday morning into the early afternoon, when the incident was ultimately cleared after a bomb squad arrived on the scene, according to reports.

JFK International issued a tweet on the incident at 11:26 a.m., indicating that the Port Authority Police Department was investigating the matter in Terminal Four, which WNBC noted is the airport’s largest terminal.

In the social media post and in subsequent tweets, the airport did not specify what the “security incident” was, but citing a port authority spokesperson, WNBC reported that an “unattended bag” was the cause of the scare.

“Eyewitnesses called saying over a thousand people were outside of the terminal,” WABC reported. At 11:47 the airport tweeted again, noting that “arrivals and departure levels at Terminal 4 remain closed to inbound traffic,” adding that “traffic delays” should be expected.

The New York City Police Department’s bomb squad responded to the scene to investigate the incident, the New York Post reported, citing a spokesperson.

Per WNBC:

Bomb squad investigators and K-9 teams deemed the unattended luggage safe and airport operations were resumed around 12 p.m.

The bag contained a common household product K-9s are trained to detect, a law enforcement source told News 4.

At 12:21 p.m., JFK International announced the threat had been cleared. 

While travelers have had to deal with large numbers of cancellations and delays this July 4th Weekend, JFK seems to not be facing major setbacks due to the incident.

According to flight-tracking website Flight Aware, just one percent of flights out of JFK were cancelled as of 4:08 p.m. Sunday, and twelve percent were delayed.

“We expect minor operational impact as this time of day has fewer schedule departures than the morning and evening,” a spokesperson from Delta Airlines said, according to WABC.

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