Evacuation, ‘chaos’ — Worker worried about 2 men at Newark airport
NEWARK — A concerned airline employee who pulled an alarm at Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal A triggered chaos, uncertainty, and rumors on Monday night.
An Alaskan Airlines employee approached two men at Gate 30 around 8:30 p.m. and became "concerned" after their conversation, according to Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman. The employee hit an alarm and told people to evacuate, Coleman said.
Coleman said the alarm caused approximately 150 to 200 passengers to "self-evacuate" to the ramp side outside Gate 37, not really sure why they had evacuated.
Passenger Diane Park told CBS New York the employee screamed "evacuate" repeatedly, causing a scramble for the doors.
Erin Fors on Twitter called the incident the "most terrifying few minutes of my life" and "absolute chaos." Video by Fors showed luggage scattered around the terminal, left behind in the rush, as an alarm chirped.
Fors said she heard what sounded like gunshots, "but after seeing the damage in this terminal, it’s more likely it was glass being shattered from people jumping. Terrifying."
The two men were questioned and released without charges being filed, according to Coleman.
The terminal was reopened and all passengers and workers were re-screened, Coleman said.
The airport never closed and operations were unaffected by the incident, according to Coleman.
Alaska Airlines issued an an apology for the incident and said the passengers impacted were put up in a hotel on Monday night. They left Newark on Tuesday morning.
"Alaska Airlines values the safety of our guests as our highest priority. We’re conducting a thorough investigation to determine what occurred," a spokesperson said via an email.
More from New Jersey 101.5: