NEW YORK – After an American Airlines Airbus crashed in Queens, N.Y. this morning shortly after 9 a.m., all three New York area airports were closed.
By 2 p.m., two of the airports, LaGuardia and Newark International in New Jersey, were reopened and John F. Kennedy airport was opened to incoming flights only.
The plane, Flight 587, went down as it was leaving New York's JFK airport on its way to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
One passenger who was waiting on the runway at JFK when the plane crashed, told Fox News that she could see smoke from the downed plane as they waited to return to the gate. All passengers from her flight exited the plane and returned to the terminal.
All bridges and tunnels into and out of Manhattan were immediately closed after the crash, but have also been reopened.
The United Nations closed off its headquarters to pedestrians and vehicles as news of the crash stunned ministers from member nations who gathered there for the annual General Assembly debate.
New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, speaking from Queens, said "The city will be on a high state of security."
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, all departures from airports nationwide to New York City area airports were suspended during the first half of the day.
Los Angeles International Airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said what she called "additional behind-the-scenes measures" of airport security were implemented there. She said flights that were in the air headed for New York were being diverted to other airports.
The crash comes just two months after the attack on the World Trade Center, which was destroyed by two Boeing 767s hijacked out of Boston's Logan Airport. One of the planes was operated by American, the other by United Airlines.
On Sept. 11, all the nation's airports were closed and flights that were in the air were grounded as soon as possible.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said officials did not intend to shut down the rest of the nation's airline system as a result of the New York crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.