US & Canada

JFK airport evacuated after false gunfire reports

Passengers on the ground in the immigration area of JFK airport, 15 August Image copyright AFP
Image caption Frightened passengers cowered while police searched the terminals

Part of New York's JFK airport was closed on Sunday night after reports of gunfire, which turned out to be false.

Cheering and banging while people watched the Olympics may have been mistaken for the sound of shots, one official said.

Two of the airport's six terminals were shut and a road approaching the airport was closed while the New York Police Department (NYPD) were called in, and many flights were delayed.

No-one was injured or arrested.

Reports of shooting in Terminal Eight came in at 21:30 local time (01:30 GMT). Some 45 minutes later, similar reports came in from Terminal One, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said.

The terminals were evacuated and flights were halted for more than an hour.

One passenger, Demetrius Pipkin, said Terminal One was a "madhouse", where people were told to "get on the floor and take cover behind any and everything we could find" - but passengers eventually bolted for the exits.

Joe Pentangelo, from the Port Authority's police department, said the search through the terminals had found "no firearm, rounds or shell casings or other evidence of shots fired".

Image copyright @NYPDSpecialOps

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