Usain Bolt's historic victory in Rio was felt all over the world Sunday night, but maybe not as dramatically as in New York City after passengers at John F. Kennedy International Airport were told to take cover behind "anything" they could find by police after reports of gunfire caused mass panic in Terminal 8.
Every passenger ended up being evacuated from two terminals, some onto the runway, as an army of heavily armed police moved in to hunt for an apparently non-existent gunman as travelers scrambled for cover and hid behind anything they could find.
Authorities are now claiming the confusion was a "false alarm" and the "gunshots" are being attributed to "cheering" and clapping for the Jamaican sprinter who just won a Gold Medal at the Olympics.
One passenger said an officer screamed: "If you're forgetting anything it's not worth your life, everyone move now!"
Flights were held up for several hours and authorities spent four hours searching the terminal — as well as Terminal 1, where there was also a report of gunfire.Video shows scene inside NYC's JFK Airport as police order bystanders 'down on the ground.' https://t.co/2KY6SG4aj0https://t.co/EaQgMVEaSM— ABC News (@ABC) August 15, 2016
Port Authority police said travelers should contact their carriers and warned of a "substantial PAPD and NYPD presence" at JFK and LaGuardia due to the investigation.
Bolt easily won the signature event in track and field and became the first person to capture three straight 100-meter Gold medals at the Olympics.