Ft. Lauderdale Airport Terminal Open After Brief Evacuation
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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) -A major mess due to a hazardous materials scare at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport Friday shut down a terminal and caused hundreds of passengers to be stranded for nearly two hours.
Security officials cleared Terminal 2 after airport officials say an aerosol can discharged in the security checkpoint and dozens of passengers had reactions to it. Walda Woods said she was one of the first to have a reaction.
“We just all started coughing — like a tickle in your throat and sneezing,” Woods told CBS 4’s Carey Codd, adding that she felt better as soon as she went outside.
Minutes later, Woods said, emergency workers descended on the terminal. Several people were taken to the hospital.
Officials say it’s still not clear what was sprayed or where it came from. They continue to evaluate the situation.
“The air samples have back inconclusive,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Mike Jachles. “There is not anything that has been detected.”
For passengers forced to wait in a parking garage and outside the terminal, it was a challenging situation.
“It’s hot,” said Alyssa Bandoni. “There’s nowhere to sit. It’s been raining. The stairs are nasty and wet. It’s just not fun.”
Miami Dolphin running back Reggie Bush was among the stranded.
He tweeted, “Currently stuck at Ft. Lauderdale airport standing outside underneath the airport with hundreds of people. They won’t let us leave! “
Many of the stranded passengers wondered if they would ever leave the airport and complained of a lack of information by airport officials.
“It’s very frustrating and we don’t know what’s going on,” said Siri Saramout, who was headed to Washington, D.C. and was concerned about making her connecting flight.
Despite the frustration, airport officials and some travelers said in these times you can never be too careful — especially at an airport.
“I’d rather have my flight delayed and have them real thorough in there,” said Woods.
Around 7 pm, passengers were allowed back in the terminal. But the wait was not over. They had to wait in a lengthy line at the airport counter and security to get to their next destination.
An airport worker said all the flights waited for the delay to be over before taking off.
An airport spokesperson told CBS 4 News that airport officials will meet with fire rescue personnel and others on Monday to determine if the correct decision was to shut down the terminal.