Chaos erupted in Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday night when an Alaska Airlines employee identified two men she thought were suspicious. When the employee spoke to the men, they started running and she yelled, “evacuate,” CNN reports. The screams caused panic at the gate and in the terminal.
The employee then hit an alarm, making almost 200 passengers evacuate the area, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman said, per the outlet.
“Imagine you're starting to board and a frazzled attendant comes off the plane, stops the process, asks someone to call the police, then starts yelling, with increasing loudness, ‘evacuate!’” a passenger told WPIX. Some travelers even evacuated onto the tarmac.
“Sounded like gunshots but after seeing the damage in this terminal, it's more likely it was glass being shattered from people jumping.”
The airport tweeted later on Monday, “It was determined that there was no threat in the Terminal A-3 Satellite. All passengers and employees are being rescreened as a precaution.”
The two men were found and released with no charges after being questioned by police, Coleman said. The airline employee is still being questioned.
“There is no danger to anyone at the airport and the situation is under control,” Coleman said. “The incident is under investigation.”