This afternoon, Oct. 9, LaGuardia airport in New York City was been thrown into chaos after reports of a suspicious package aboard a flight caused an emergency landing.
The incident occurred aboard Republic Airways’ American Eagle Flight 4817, which was transporting passengers from Indianapolis to New York City, Fox News reported. The flight landed at LaGuardia Airport just after 3 p.m. local time.
One passenger has been taken into custody after other commuters observed bizarre behavior from the person.
“This was in response to reports by passengers of suspicious and erratic behavior by a fellow passenger,” said Thomas Topousis, the spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, operators of the airport, according to the Associated Press.
Bystander footage started to emerge showing a man was spread-eagled face down on the runway tarmac, surrounded by a fire crew. He did not show any sign of resisting.
According to one witness, the suspect was around five or six seats behind him when he overheard a woman say, “Don’t do that, don’t do that,” ABC7NY reported.
Her reaction prompted an instant panic in the flight. Another witness told the New York Post that the unidentified man was suspected of timing a bomb.
“He was looking at photos of what looked like to be homemade bombs. Then he got very erratic and fidgety at the end of the flight and went to like grab a camera as we were landing and asked to put up the shade,” one woman told the Post. “It was very odd behavior.”
“People were yelling ‘bomb, bomb, bomb!’ The slide opened up and I jumped,” said one male passenger. “Everyone ran. People got injured from the slide because people were panicking and shoving. They were falling off left and right.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security later said in a statement that nothing harmful was found on the aircraft.
ABC7NY noted the unruly passenger was being questioned by authorities.
There were no casualties among the 76 passengers and six staff members on board.