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Newark Airport Flights Interrupted By Faulty Fire Alarm In Control Tower

Newark Airport Control Tower (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Newark Airport Control Tower (DOUG KANTER/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration said a fire alarm in the traffic control tower at Newark Liberty International Airport stopped departures for 20 minutes. There was no fire.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the alarm was set off at 5:50 p.m. Friday by a faulty sensor on the tower’s 15th floor. She says that the tower was evacuated but that three controllers remained to monitor incoming flights.

Other controllers began to set up a temporary tower atop a terminal. Departures were held until the sensor was replaced at 6:10 p.m. and operations resumed.

Bergen says four flights were diverted and landed at other airports but it wasn’t immediately known where they went.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)