There has been mass chaos at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, courtesy of the “bomb cyclone” winter weather phenomenon that has disrupted travel across the eastern half of the country.
JFK was absolutely pounded by blizzard conditions that closed the place down, stranding thousands of travelers and causing the cancellation of thousands of flights. Amid these messy conditions, two planes collided on the snowy tarmac.
The brunt of the storm roared into the Big Apple on Thursday, but the effects are lingering.
Some reports from the front lines of the abominable snowstorm:
New York's JFK Airport snarled by blizzard, causing 2 planes to collide and sparking massive delays https://t.co/YzZ5rBxfId
— CNBC (@CNBC) January 6, 2018
Two airplanes collided on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport early Saturday morning amid rampant delays caused by a powerful Northeast winter storm.
Officials told NBC News New York that a China Southern aircraft’s right wing grazed the tail of a Kuwait Airways vessel, damaging both planes. Port Authority officials said no injuries were reported and that all passengers were able to safely disembark, NBC reported.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the China Southern plane was being towed during the collision, which occurred just after midnight. It carried no passengers, officials told the news outlet.
The Kuwait Airways flight was parked ahead of takeoff when the planes collided, the airline said on Twitter.Kuwait’s passengers were transported to nearby hotels to await new flight arrangements as New York authorities investigated the incident, the airline added.
The collision came on top of lengthy and extensive delays throughout JFK Airport, brought on by a powerful blizzard that wreaked havoc on the East Coast in the first week of the new year.
The delays led to short tempers from those trapped like rats in an airport that isn’t among the nation’s best in terms of amenities. The New York Daily News even reported of a “near riot” that took place on Saturday.
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) January 7, 2018
Travel woes continued through Saturday night, with Port Authority police officers being dispatched to break up a “disturbance” over a canceled flight in Terminal 4, according to Virgin Atlantic.
“We are sharing a gate with another airline, and they have just cancelled their flight, causing the disturbance and the police being called,” the airline tweeted just after midnight.
“Our flight is operating and our teams are now moving our customers through the gate so they can board our aircraft.”
Brutal cold temps to worsen in NYC before rising into 30s
Passenger Jeremy Silver described the late-night madness at gate B23 as a “near riot” when travelers learned of their canceled XL Airways flight.
“It seems as if some punches were thrown as people jostled,” Silver said. “The crowd went nuts booing and shouting.”
If there were signs that things would be slowly returning to normal at JFK, they were dashed on Sunday afternoon when the latest woe hit. A ruptured water main flooded a terminal.
BREAKING: JFK terminal flooded due to water main break, compounding days of chaos https://t.co/IbVcayCobx
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) January 7, 2018
New York’s NBC affiliate reports on this latest problem, “JFK Terminal Flooded Due to Water Main Break, Compounding Days of Chaos”:
A water main break flooded a terminal at JFK airport on Sunday, officials said, compounding problems for travelers on the straight third day of delays and chaos.
The Port Authority, which manages the airport, confirmed that a water main break flooded Terminal 4, but didn’t immediate provide any other details.
Video showed water covering the terminal floor and workers mopping it up.
The water main break comes as travelers endured hours-long waits on the tarmac, only to face more hours-long waits for their baggage when they got inside the terminal.
Further complicating travel nightmare: On Saturday, two planes collided on the tarmac and a man was arrested with a loaded, stolen gun while going through security.
The Port Authority, which manages the airport, says the delays stemmed from a backlog of flights after the airport was shut down Thursday in the first blizzard of 2018.
After it reopened, a “cascading series of issues” including extreme cold, frozen equipment breakdowns, staff shortages and difficulties in baggage handling contributed to the delays, the Port Authority said.
“It’s getting like a madhouse,” traveler Steven Litvin told NBC 4 New York. “People are getting upset. You have little kids, you have animals. It’s a madhouse.”
There are few things that suck more than being stranded in an airport in an unfamiliar city, but for those trapped at JFK, they must believe that they have discovered a portal to Hell itself.
It could always be worse — at least it wasn’t a sewage line that broke. Granted it isn’t much reason for optimism for the folks who are still stuck there and now have to deal with flooding on top of everything else.
The story continues to develop…