A couple hundred panicked travelers abandoned carry-on bags and scrambled for the exits at a Newark Liberty International Airport terminal at about 8:30pm on September 2, just as the busy three-day Labor Day weekend was drawing to a close.
An Alaska Airlines employee at Gate 30 in Terminal A approached two male passengers that were about to board a flight. The flight attendant hit a fire alarm when they fled, triggering the evacuation, according to a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Police officers with tactical rifles converged on the terminal, with some travelers seeking refuge on the airport tarmac.
It was not immediately clear what had prompted the flight attendant’s suspicions. The men were questioned by police and allowed to board. No charges were brought.
As a precaution, passengers and employees were rescreened, officials said. There was no impact to airport operations.