Terminal C at the New York’s LaGuardia Airport was evacuated by airport authorities because of a report of smoke coming from a suspicious luggage bag. The port authority said the airport was partially evacuated for security concerns. A ramp worker at the airport witnessed smoke coming out of the suspicious luggage as it was passing down the conveyor belt at Terminal C. The airport staff at LaGuardia Terminal C and port authority started to clear the terminal based on the reported bag headed to Virginia on Delta Flight 5208
It was shortly before noon, on Tuesday, February 4, when the ramp worker noticed the smoke escaping the luggage. The flight was just about to depart when the plane was held back at the departure gate for further investigation by the port authority police and FBI. This news instantly caused anxiety among the travelers, who had to evacuate suddenly based on the suspicious bag. The worker saw the suspicious bag as it was being loaded to the plane on conveyor belt however, the bag was not carried inside the aircraft. The bag was pulled out and taken away from the airport investigative purposes.
Upon further investigation the FBI and NYPD bomb squads found nothing dangerous inside the luggage. The partial evacuation was held as a precautionary measure. Additionally, the travelers were frustrated by the delayed flight as yesterday’s snow fall had already postponed their flight. One of the passengers on board, Robert Kloss, said he saw several police vehicles approaching the scene exercising an additional amount of vigilance.
Spokesman Joe Pentangelo said the suspicious bag was harmless and was moved to different location. The Delta Flight departed after the LaGuardia Terminal C re-opened around 1:00 pm EST. The FBI said after re-opening the airport that it was safe and clear. The partial clearance was a precautionary step based on the reports while the suspicious bag was taken to another location, x-rayed and checked. Although there was nothing hazardous in the suspicious bag preventive measures were necessary to ensure passengers’ security.
After the Super Bowl event held in New York City, the fans who attended the game were stranded, first due to cancellation of the flights caused by the early snow storm, and then the flight delay. Many of the passengers at the LaGuardia Airport had been waiting for their connecting flights since the weekend.
The LaGuardia Airport, since 1947, has operated under New York City charter; it is within eight miles from Manhattan located in Queens, New York, controlled by the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York. There are estimated 11,000 workers at the LaGuardia Airport with more than twenty-five million travelers annually using it as a gateway. LaGuardia Airport is not the only airport in New York but it is one the busiest airports in New York.
The LaGuardia Terminal C in New York was evacuated for security concerns over smoke being released from a suspicious bag on Tuesday, February 2. After being investigated the bag was found to be harmless and the terminal was returned to a safe status allowing the passengers to aboard the flight.
By Iqra Amjad