Witnesses described scenes of panic and “total chaos” as frightened travellers scrambled to flee Terminal C. Photos of the scene show some people standing barefoot outside the airport after they left their shoes behind. One man tweeted: “Terminal C evacuated just as I was about to head through TSA.
“People screaming, running, falling down steps….some people were mid check-in and are barefoot outside. 100% total chaos.”
Another wrote: “I started sprinting, dropped my bags at pickup 3”.
A third added: “Everyone started running in Newark airport, son I ran so fast!”
Another man said he was on board a plane parked on a runway at Newark when the pilot made a worrying announcement.
He explained: “We are on the airplane, captain just announced there is a security emergency in the airport and we are closing the door for security.”
Another man said his plane had been grounded while the incident was being dealt with.
He said: “We’re on the runway waiting to leave . Engines been off for a while because passengers who evacuated from Terminal C were on the runway behind our plane.”
Footage shows police cars on a runway with crowds of passengers standing nearby.
Photos taken outside the airport show several police cars parked at the entrance to a terminal.
Another traveller said they were seated on a plane on a runway at Newark and had been told there would be a three-hour delay to all travel.
The person described the scene, saying: “No planes seem to be moving at all from the terminal but supply trucks are.”
The incident happened on what is a very busy day for travel in the United States.
Many Americans had celebrated the July 4 weekend with family and friends and will be travelling home today.
NBC New York reported that a peron had been arrested and taken into custody following a “security breach” at the airport.
The Port Authority Police Department reportedly said a passenger had exited Terminal C through a security door, prompting staff to follow emergency procedures.
Later reports suggested the incident had been resolved.
Passengers had to be rescreened by security officials after being allowed back into Terminal C.
This is a breaking story…more to follow