Unattended Bag Sparks Brief Terminal Shut-Down at JFK

What to Know

  • JFK's Terminal 5 was closed after a police dog sat down to an unattended bag, denoting something suspicious
  • Passengers were forced out into the street and the roadways to the terminal were shut down for about an hour.
  • Terminal 5 services flights on JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus.

A terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport was briefly evacuated Wednesday morning after a police dog flagged an unattended bag. 

The Department of Homeland Security K-9 was doing rounds at the airport's Terminal 5 and sat down next to a bag at about 8:30 a.m., according to Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo. The dogs are trained to sit down next to items they deem suspicious. 

The airport's police force then closed down all roads in and out of the terminal and made all travelers go out into the street with their luggage. An "all-clear" was given about an hour later, and passengers were allowed back into the terminal, which services JetBlue, Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus. 

Photos on social media showed people walking in the road with their bags as emergency personnel secured the entrance to the terminal.

Passengers were seen lugging their bags up a ramp to get back inside the terminal once it reopened. 

The scare came a day after 41 people were killed in suicide bombings at an airport in Turkey. The attack injured hundreds of others. 

On Tuesday, the Port Authority said it added high-visibility patrol officers equipped with tactical weapons at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports as a precautionary measure following the suicide attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. 

Authorities said after the Istanbul attack there was no threat to New York City.

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