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Water main breaks, flooding airport terminal at chaotic JFK

Water main breaks, flooding airport terminal at chaotic JFK

Part of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, which has been plagued by delays stranding thousands of passengers since Thursday's "Bomb Cyclone" winter storm, was evacuated Sunday afternoon following a massive water main break.

There were about 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water inside the west end of Terminal 4, Scott Ladd, a spokesman for the Port Authority, said in an email.

It's not yet clear what caused the water main to break, but the wet bags and resulting flight delays - including a shutdown of worldwide flights to Terminal 4 - were just the latest misfortune to strike JFK passengers over the past three days.

In a statement, Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton called the situation at the airport "unacceptable". At least one NBC employee who arrived at the airport early Sunday said that an employee handed out pieces of paper for passengers to file a report and were told to leave a message on a voicemail inbox that was already full. The Port Authority has launched a full investigation to find out what happened, saying it will "hold all responsible parties accountable". The terminal was reopened for arrivals Sunday night, according to WABC.

"It's getting like a madhouse", traveler Steven Litvin told NBC 4 NY. That meant that all of the flights bound for Kennedy had to divert to other airports or turn around.

Footage from the airport in NY showed water pouring into terminal four through the ceiling, with several centimetres of water rising around piles of stacked luggage.

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Yesterday, two airplanes - a China Southern and a Kuwait Airways - collided at JFK International Airport amid delays caused by a winter storm. Officials hoped for normal operations after the issue was resolved, but many frustrated passengers were still experiencing delays for a fourth straight day Monday.

Officials shut down arriving global flights.

In a statement released before the water pipe break, the Port Authority said Saturday's cold "created a cascading series of issues for the airlines and terminal operators". It also serves at Delta's worldwide hub. But hundreds of passengers' suitcases were soaked - including long-delayed luggage from last week's weather calamity.

"People see children crying; let us go", the driver said.

"I just hope I can get my luggage", Papasin said. Flights later resumed but with delays, it said. "I'm exhausted, man", she said, in about the only sentence that could be printed without obscenities.

Global terminal operators intend to reunite passengers still in New York City with lost baggage by Tuesday morning, he said. Officials say there aren't enough gates to handle the backlog of rescheduled flights.