The Obama administration plans to investigate how authorities handled false reports of gunfire at Kennedy Airport that caused flight delays and panicked passengers, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Saturday.
“I’ve asked my folks, the TSA, to take a hard look at the event and the response to the event,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who oversees the Transportation Security Administration.
Sunday night’s false alarm exposed holes in the emergency planning of federal and local agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bistate agency that runs the airports, the TSA and the NYPD.
Johnson said he planned to discuss the matter with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“But I’ve asked my own folks to take a look at the response and make a judgment, make an assessment, whether there are some lessons learned there,” said Johnson, who was in New Jersey for a terrorism drill.
A spokeswoman for Cuomo, Dani Lever, did not immediately answer an email seeking comment.
During the false alarm, apparently triggered by someone who mistook noise for gunshots, passengers were refused entry to a safe area, police commanders couldn’t access video feeds and TSA agents ran through an airport terminal, screaming about the presence of a bomb and a shooting victim, neither of which was true.