Passengers have been allowed to get off a plane that landed Monday afternoon at Newark Liberty International Airport from Hong Kong after some passengers reported feeling ill.

The Continental flight arrived at 2 p.m. in New Jersey, and passengers disembarked about 4 p.m. after officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allowed them off, said Marc La Vorgna, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport.

Continental Flight 98 departed Hong Kong at 11 a.m. with 272 passengers on board.

During the flight, the cabin crew noticed that several passengers appeared ill, and airline officials notified health authorities in the U.S., said Dave Messing, a spokesman for Houston-based Continental Airlines.

The CDC sent a representative to meet the passengers before they were allowed to leave the flight.

Messing said the airline believes the ill passengers were part of a group of more than 80 tourists who sailed together on a river cruise in Asia.

The final destination of the group, after switching planes in Newark, is Montreal, Canada.

The CDC did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press.