FBI agents stormed a crowded JetBlue flight at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens on Tuesday, after a radio error apparently signaled that the airplane was being hijacked, ABC News reports.
Shortly before its scheduled takeoff to Los Angeles, the flight reportedly lost communication with air traffic control due to a radio equipment error, according to ABC. The mishap led several passengers becoming frightened as armed police officers and FBI agents surrounded and subsequently entered the aircraft.
Authorities treated the incident as a possible hijacking situation until proven otherwise, and reportedly forced the passengers to put their arms up and cell phones down as a security measure.
— Alexa Curtis (@Alexa_Curtis) June 27, 2018
“Woah. My worst nightmare,” Alexa Curtis tweeted along with a photo showing passenger’s hands raised in the air. “I honestly thought we were going to die. I AM ALIVE THANK GOSH I MEDITATE.”
Curtis told CNN that the incident caused her to be extremely fearful.
“SWAT came and told us to pull our phones away and leave [our] hands up,” she told the news station, adding that passengers weren’t given information regarding the incident.
After officials deemed there was no security threat, the flight’s 160 passengers were escorted to a new plane, and JetBlue confirmed the incident Tuesday evening, according to ABC News.
“While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded in an abundance of caution,” the airline said in a statement, according to the media outlet. “The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection.”
The incident is under investigation by JetBlue and the FAA, according to CNN.
[Feature Photo: AP/Seth Wenig, File]