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JFK Terminal Briefly Evacuated After Agent Noticed Suspicious-Looking Paperweight

An aerial view of John F. Kennedy Airport. (file/Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

An aerial view of John F. Kennedy Airport. (file/Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was a brief security scare at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday after a customs agent apparently mistook a paperweight for a grenade.

Terminal 4 was evacuated after a security agent noticed a suspicious-looking object in a man’s bag shortly after he arrived at JFK from Tel Aviv, authorities said.

“They told us to get out of the terminal. They made us wait for about 30 minutes and then they got us back in,” one man told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

“All the police started coming in and saying ‘hold it.’ And they said ‘stop processing.’ They were telling all the guys who work there,” a man who had just returned from the Dominican Republic told Haskell.

“Extremely frustrating, especially since the directions were not clear at first. When they were clear, most people weren’t following them,” said a man who had just arrived after a 13-hour flight from Dubai.

The arrivals area of Terminal 4 remained roped off as of 5:30 p.m., Haskell reported.

The man reportedly told authorities the grenade was inert but the area was evacuated as a precaution.

Airport officials said they are working to re-open the terminal.

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