NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Port Authority gave the all-clear Tuesday afternoon after the upper level of the central terminal building at LaGuardia Airport was evacuated earlier in the day.
Port Authority spokesman Ron Marisco told the Associated Press the cause of concern was wires protruding from a fluorescent light fixture. According to the Port Authority, someone in the food court called 911 around 10:30 a.m., triggering the evacuation.
A United Airlines pilot was greeting passengers boarding his Denver-bound flight when the evacuation was ordered.
“At times like that, you don’t ask; you just do it. Get out of the airport,” pilot Raul Boerner told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
Boerner was also in the air on Sept. 11 but said this situation was much different.
“I think people are more aware of what’s going on. That caught everybody by surprise, but these people understand,” Boerner added.
“I was seated in my seat and then a flight attendant got on the PA and said, ‘grab your things and get off the plane, get off the plane now,'” one air traveler told Diamond.
The all-clear was given 45 minutes after the evacuation was ordered, Diamond reported.
The Federal Aviation Administration had put a ground stop in place for any planes departing from the airport.
The incident happened as New York City remains on heightened alert after Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.