Security Lapse Leads to JFK Terminal Evacuation

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Security agents from the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the shutdown and evacuation of part of the American Airlines terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday afternoon when they saw checkpoint screeners failing to follow security rules, an FAA official said.

Jim Peters, an FAA spokesman, said Concourse A of Terminal 8 was evacuated at about 4:30 p.m.

He said FAA civil aviation security agents observing procedures at a checkpoint saw screeners allowing passengers to continue through the concourse even after security alarms went off. They ordered the concourse closed and evacuated.

Peters said the area would be searched and all passengers would be re-screened.

When asked how long the area would remain closed, Peters said, "As long as necessary."

It was unclear how many flights would be delayed by the evacuation or how many passengers were affected.

Telephone calls to American Airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs metro area airports and other transit hubs, were not immediately returned.