- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 1, 2009

NEW YORK — The main terminal at New York’s LaGuardia Airport was evacuated Saturday morning, stranding hundreds of passengers, after a man entered the building with a fake bomb in a bag, police said.

The terminal was evacuated at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday after the man approached security in the airport’s C concourse, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman John Kelly said.

It wasn’t clear if the man made a threat, but security officials said he “was just acting crazy,” Kelly said. The man’s name was not released.

The device in the man’s bag was a few batteries and wires, but was not dangerous, police said.

Police later reopened the main terminal, and passengers began re-entering shortly before 9 a.m.

It was not immediately clear how many flights were delayed or canceled by the evacuation, but the airport’s Web site said passengers should check with their airlines for information.

Among the stranded passengers were 12-year-old Samantha Casady and her 10-year-old brother, Patrick, of Norwich, Conn., who were supposed to fly out to Dallas at 7:15 a.m. by themselves to visit relatives.

Their mother, Colleen, said she and her husband were accompanying their children through a long security screening line when there was a commotion “and just a swarm of TSA.”

Casady said she later saw a man in handcuffs, surrounded by police.

The family was initially directed to go to another security gate, but it was closed, “and a few minutes later, they evacuated the building,” she said.

The evacuation also meant that Irma Quidore, of Denville, N.J., had to delay a trip to Monterrey, Mexico, for a second time with her two daughters, Sofia, 6, and Isabella, 3.

They had originally planned to fly out on Thursday, but a delay that would have forced them to miss a connecting flight prompted them to reschedule their trip for Saturday, Quidore said.

“I guess we’re going to make the trip to Mexico, but a little bit late,” Sofia said as she pushed her little sister in a stroller toward the terminal.

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