Water pipe breaks at New York's JFK Airport, forces evacuation

Continued chaos at JFK airport as two planes collide on the runway, prompting a Kuwait-bound flight's cancellation

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On Sunday, a water main broke in JFK's Terminal 4, a major arrival point for worldwide flights, flooding the baggage claim and forcing the airport to temporarily evacuate the terminal and shut down arrivals for four hours.

The pipe break sent about three inches of water gushing onto the floor of the terminal.

The water main break led to a temporary shutdown of global flights into Terminal 4.

At the time of this writing, the airport was experiencing departure and arrival delays of more than two hours.

In a statement, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton called the situation at the airport "unacceptable".

In a statement, The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey Saturday evening stated that they, along with the FAA, are "limiting some flights into JFK" and all global arrivals into the airport's Terminal 1. The Port Authority has launched a full investigation to find out what happened, saying it will "hold all responsible parties accountable".

More than 500 flights into or out of JFK were canceled and almost 1,400 delayed from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

Carlos Koester, 52, was in NY for a week with his wife and two teens and just wanted to get home to Brazil. They added that JFK International Air Terminal worked "closely with agencies and authorities as well as on-site emergency maintenance personnel".

Witnesses said passsengers from XL Airways France became angry after their flight was cancelled having already been stranded at JFK for more than two days.

Kennedy International Airport closed on Thursday, forcing many flights to reroute before arriving at the airport on Friday.

Passengers arriving at the Queens airport said on Twitter they have waited as many as six hours on the tarmac before their plane docked at a gate, then as many as eight hours to collect their baggage from carousels. The inner roadway at the arrivals area of Terminal 4 was also closed because of the water, but the outer roadway remained open, Ladd said. "These included frozen equipment breakdown, difficulties in baggage handling, staff shortages, and heavier than typical passenger loads".

Terminal 4 is a major gateway for global arrivals at JFK and serves as an worldwide hub for Delta Airlines, according to the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said. But hundreds of passengers' suitcases were soaked - including long-delayed luggage from last week's weather calamity. A total of 4,773 flights were delayed into or out of the U.S. Saturday and another 5,665 were delayed Sunday, according to FlightAware. "That was kind of weird", said Mona Bismuth, 27, a passenger. "They said 'you're not going to get any luggage, so everyone has to get out of here".

Media report said, the deep freeze follows a winter storm which has been dubbed a "bomb cyclone" by forecasters, and is blamed for at least 19 deaths in the US.

Worldwide airlines have committed to have baggage reunited by passengers in New York City by Tuesday morning, said Cotton.

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