False alarm causes security scare on LA-bound JetBlue flight at JFK Airport

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A false alarm caused panic on the runway involving a Los Angeles-bound flight in New York Tuesday night. (KABC)

A false alarm caused panic on the runway involving a Los Angeles-bound flight in New York Tuesday night.

Port Authority police surrounded the JetBlue flight around 8 p.m. when it apparently experienced a radio issue that impacted the crew's ability to communicate.

JetBlue confirmed a false alarm was sent to JFK tower during the radio issue which prompted a strong police response. Passengers say heavily armed police boarded the plane to investigate.

"There was a false alarm sent to tower as a result of a radio communications failure. Aircraft was inspected and cleared with no security threat," a Port Authority spokesperson said in a statement.

Video from the runway showed dozens of emergency vehicles surrounding the plane.

Scared passengers tweeted from inside the aircraft:

"While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded in an abundance of caution. The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection," a JetBlue official said in a statement.

After several hours, another plane was able to take the travelers to Los Angeles. They landed at Los Angeles International Airport at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"It was really frightening. I was sitting at the window, and I counted 20 emergency vehicles, red lights, blue lights, it was really scary," said Janice Goldberg of Yorba Linda.

The FAA said it will investigate the incident.
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jfk international airportairport newsairport securityjetblueaviationNew York City
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