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LaGuardia Airport cleared for operation after suspicious vehicle checked, NYPD says

LaGuardia Airport was cleared to resume operations Friday morning after a security scare was checked out by the NYPD bomb squad, authorities said.

Someone parked a vehicle outside a terminal about 11:30 p.m. Thursday and ran off, an NYPD spokesman said.

Several people tweeted that the airport was on lockdown, and one posted a photo showing a police vehicle blocking lanes at the airport. Others said they were stuck on a plane for about 90 minutes on the tarmac.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m., an NYPD spokesman confirmed that the bomb squad determined there was no immediate threat and that the vehicle was taken by the Port Authority to be examined.

There were some anxious and frustrated passengers on Southwest Flight 444 from Atlanta, which landed at 11 p.m. and was forced to wait for about 90 minutes on the tarmac, tantalizingly close to the gate.

Passenger Joel Katz said he heard what was going on from his seat, behind the open door of the cockpit.

“We’re being told the whole terminal is on lockdown and a truck parked at the terminal and the driver ran off,” said Katz, a former Brooklynite and real estate investor back in the city on business.

Most of the passengers appeared to be relaxed but frustrated, he said.

He said he’s not worried about his safety because his plane was far enough away from the other side of the terminal with the suspicious vehicle, adding, “I’m just glad I didn’t travel with my wife and kids. Then I’d be cursing.”

But another passenger on the same flight said she was anxious and frustrated at seeing passengers on other flights deplane and a Terminal B that appeared to be deserted.

“I’m scared,” said the woman, who declined to give her name. “But most importantly, I want to get the hell out of here.”

An NYPD spokesman could not confirm a lockdown, referring questions to the Port Authority.

Port Authority police declined to comment, referring questions to the agency’s media number, which went unanswered. A spokesman did not immediately return text and cellphone calls Friday morning.


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