JFK water disaster destroys luggage

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Jim Powers/Twitter

Flood in international terminal adds to mounting confusion

Rooms at New York’s JFK International Airport piled with a backlog of luggage from flight delays due to a week of bad weather have been flooded by a leak in the baggage claim area. Water soaked countless bags and suitcases and briefly shut down flights into Terminal 4.

The terminal, which is the main arrival point for international travellers, was partially evacuated to deal with the mess.

The airport was still packed with frustrated passengers whose flights were delayed or cancelled by the East Coast’s bitter cold. More stories emerged of passengers having to spend hours on the tarmac before leaving their planes.

Images show luggage on large sections of the airport floor in standing water, with water cascading down a wall in Arrivals. Power also went out in parts of Terminal 4 shutting down conveyer belts and carousels, adding to the confusion.

Lost luggage
No cause for the leak has been reported. Departures were not affected, but JFK is advising passengers to check with their airlines before leaving for the airport.

Arriving passengers say they are frustrated at not being able to find their luggage, with posting on Instagram: “The luggage pile just keeps growing. It’s a fire hazard now. New flights are coming in and there’s no space!”

Tourists arriving from Europe say they have been putting a brave face on enduring severe temperatures and snowstorms dressed in what they were wearing on the plane, such as T-shirts and tracksuits, because of the JFK luggage blunder.

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