JetBlue flight evacuated on Newark Airport tarmac due to 'suspicious package'

David M. Zimmer

A JetBlue flight from Newark Airport in New Jersey to Tampa, Florida, was evacuated on the tarmac Saturday morning as authorities investigated a suspicious item reported prior to takeoff, a Port Authority spokesman said.

Approximately 150 passengers aboard JetBlue flight 573 were removed from the airplane and taken by bus back to the terminal following a report of a "suspicious looking package on the airplane," said Rudy King, a Port Authority spokesman.

The plane, which was expected to take off at about 7:45 a.m., was surrounded by police vehicles at about 8 a.m. All the passengers' luggage was removed from the aircraft and re-screened by security, King said.

A JetBlue flight from Newark to Tampa was delayed on the New Jersey tarmac and evacuated Saturday morning.

"(Port Authority Police) were called and K-9 came to the scene," he said. "There was nothing found on the aircraft."

Claudio Cruz, a spokesperson with JetBlue, said the flight was "delayed for additional security screenings out of an abundance of caution." Cruz and Port Authority officials could not provide more information on what exactly triggered the additional security screening.

"Local law enforcement is on site and we are working to get customers on their way to Tampa as soon as possible," Cruz said at about 9:15 a.m.

JetBlue flight 573 was initially expected to leave Newark Liberty International Airport's Terminal A at about 6:10 a.m. and arrive in Tampa at 8:54 a.m. The flight's departure, however, was delayed until about 11:30 a.m. It arrived in Tampa by about 2 p.m. according to JetBlue's website.

This article originally appeared on North Jersey Record: JetBlue flight evacuated over 'suspicious item' report