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Terminal Evacuated at JFK

November 2, 2001

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Federal security agents ordered the temporary evacuation Thursday of part of a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport after checkpoint screeners failed to properly search travelers, officials said.

Hundreds of passengers were herded out of the area, including those who had already boarded two planes.

The concourse, used by American Airlines, was reopened several hours later after a search. Nothing suspicious was found, airline spokeswoman Sonja Whitemon said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said FAA agents monitoring a checkpoint saw screeners allowing passengers to continue through after security alarms went off.

Whitemon said an employee of Worldwide Flight Service, the firm contracted by the airline for security checks, was patting passengers down but not using a metal-detecting wand.

American said it would conduct a review with the security firm.

Eight flights were delayed. The first took off at 9 p.m., several hours late.

``I’m horrified they could be so lax in the first place,″ said Julie Moore, booked on a flight to London. ``What does it take? What has to happen for them to take it seriously?″