A terminal at LaGuardia Airport was partially evacuated Tuesday after workers notified authorities they saw smoke coming from a bag being loaded onto a Virginia-bound plane, sources familiar with the situation tell NBC 4 New York.
The terminal was reopened after 1 p.m.
Terminal C was emptied and the Delta flight was called back to the gate around 11:20 a.m. as Port Authority police investigated the bag, sources said. Travelers waiting inside the airport said it made for some anxious moments.
"Different people from the TSA were saying, 'Just leave, don't worry about anything. Drop everything and go, just go,'" said Victoria Osborne.
The bag was spotted on the belt that was carrying luggage to the plane and never made it on the aircraft, the Port Authority told NBC News. It was taken to a remote area of the airport for further investigation and the plane that had returned to the gate departed for its scheduled destination a short time later.
Robert Kloss was on board that plane when he saw dozens of police cars rushing to the scene.
"They said there was no reason for alarm," he said. "No reason for concern, they're just exercising a large amount of caution."
The NYPD bomb squad and the FBI learned the suspicious bag had nothing dangerous inside. Authorities said the evacuation was ordered as a precaution, but some passengers were frustrated that their already postponed flights were facing yet another obstacle.
"Our flight was canceled yesterday because of the weather and now delayed today because of this whole brouhaha," said Christa Setum.