NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was a scare at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday night that caused a terminal to be evacuated.
As alarms rang out inside an empty Terminal A unattended bags lay scattered across the ground. Around 200 frightened passengers left them behind as they fled the airport following verbal instructions from the gate agent.
On the tarmac, Port Authority police vehicles surrounded concerned passengers at the Alaska Airlines gate.
“She started screaming ‘Evacuate! Evacuate! Evacuate!’ Everyone just took off in a mad scramble. Everyone was running. People were crying. They left their luggage,” traveler Diane Park told CBS2’s Matt Kozar.
Park said she was about to board her plane to San Francisco when the ticket agent made the announcement.
“As we were running, the SWAT team, you could see, it was a very quick response,” Park said.
According to Port Authority police, an Alaska Airlines employee approached two men at Gate 30, but when they fled the employee became concerned and hit an alarm, causing hundreds to evacuate the area.
It remains unclear what the men were doing and why they ran away.
Police said the men have been identified and were being questioned.
No charges were immediately filed.
“There was a woman at one point who came out on the railing of the jetway and started pointing at a couple people from the crowd and the police took those people from the crowd aside,” one person said. “I don’t know what the context was there.”
Passengers taken from the terminal were being re-screened before entering the terminal again.