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15 Aug, 2016 02:18

JFK Airport evacuated over ‘gunshots’ which most likely was Olympic cheering

Two terminals at New York’s JFK Airport were evacuated and all flights temporarily canceled due to the sound of shooting, but a police source said later the “gunshots” may have actually been cheering, clapping and banging from fans watching the Olympics.

READ MORE: ‘Active shooter,’ police deployed, mass evacuation at LAX Airport – reports

The noise that resembled gunshots was first heard at 9:30 pm local time at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 8 on Sunday, according to witnesses.

Another round of “shots” was heard later, at 10:15 pm, in Terminal 1, according to a report by PIX11.

Witnesses posted images on social media showing the panic at JFK as crowds of passengers rushed to evacuate. 

All flights in and out of airport were canceled, while the police and Port Authority hunted for the alleged gunman.

However, it was revealed soon after that the panic at JFK was groundless, as no evidence was discovered in any of the terminals indicating that shots had been fired.  

“Preliminary investigation does not indicate shots were fired at JFK. There are no injuries. At this time, no gun shells or other evidence of shots fired has been found,” Scott Ladd with the Port Authority said.

JFK’s Terminal 8 was evacuated “out of an abundance of caution,” the statement said. 

“No shots were fired,” the New York police confirmed on Twitter after searching through all of the terminals.

An unnamed police source later told NBC that cheering, clapping and banging from fans watching the Rio Olympics on TV monitors was most likely mistaken for gunfire.

A similar incident occurred in the French Mediterranean resort of Juan-les-Pins on Sunday, when 40 people received minor injuries in a stampede caused by noise resembling gunfire.

READ MORE: Dozens injured in stampede sparked by ‘shooting’ scare in French Riviera resort

A local radio reported afterwards that fire crackers or a car with a noisy engine were actually the most likely culprits.