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Water Main Break At JFK Airport Causes Flood, Soaks Baggage Claim Area

09 January 2018

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey says it's launching an investigating into a water pipe break inside a terminal at Kennedy Airport that added to the delays at the airport still coping from the aftermath of a snowstorm.

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey said a water pipe that feeds the terminal's sprinkler system broke around 2 p.m. A succession of flights had been cancelled and thousands of passengers stranded before the incident, adding to a tense situation in a terminal that had already seen scuffles and hours-long waits at baggage claim to retrieve belongings. "It seemed like a disaster, whether it's the runways not being ploughed, whether it's the baggage machines that transport the baggage freezing, whether it's not notifying people what's going on".

The airport was experiencing arrival delays of more than two hours.

The Port Authority of NY and New Jersey says passengers who have already arrived are being taken to other terminals for processing. KSL-TV reported that all flights coming into the airport were being diverted.

"We will thoroughly investigate why the pipe burst", Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said.

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"Frigid temperatures continue to cause equipment failures and slower than normal operations".

"What happened at JFK Airport is unacceptable, and travelers expect and deserve better", he said in a statement."The Port Authority is committed to providing the highest caliber of service to all travelers and we will hold those responsible accountable for any shortcoming we find".

Many inbound travellers sat for hours on parked planes last Saturday as the airport and operators struggled to get aircraft to and from gates.

The gridlock was particularly bad at Delta Air Lines' worldwide hub at Terminal 4 along with Terminal 1, which is used by overseas carriers such as Air France and Japan Airlines.

Water Main Break At JFK Airport Causes Flood, Soaks Baggage Claim Area