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Portions of Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport were closed Sunday morning, snarling air traffic and canceling numerous flights, as police investigated an unattended vehicle.
Gregory Roybal, a spokesman for the airport, said the east side of the terminal, before the security checkpoints, was evacuated. Three of the four security checkpoints were closed, and the PHX Sky Train was not dropping off passengers at Terminal 4.
“Police are working to resolve this as soon as possible,” Roybal said in an email.
Roybal said travelers should avoid coming to Terminal 4 until the situation is resolved. Air Canada, American Airways, British Airways, Southwest Airlines, Volaris, WestJet and Condor flights were affected by the partial closure.
The airport said in a tweet that airlines were aware passengers were having a difficult time getting to their gates.
At least 30 Southwest flights had been canceled by 10:30 a.m.
Dian Squire spent hours stuck in the Sky Train lobby while his American Airlines flight to Detroit was delayed multiple times. He said dozens of people were sitting on the floor as they waited for any information from the Transportation Security Administration or airport staff.
“That seems a little poor from a crowd-control perspective,” he said.
Airport volunteers brought therapy dogs to help calm the growing crowd. Passengers speculated about whether they could see any planes taking off or landing. Squire said the stuck travelers didn’t seem frustrated too with the situation.
“People are surprisingly calm,” Squire said. “I think a security threat is more manageable in people’s mind than a plane delay for other reasons. I bet that’s different for people stuck in the terminal itself.”
Phoenix police did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Arizona Republic on Sunday.
It wasn’t clear when the terminal would reopen.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said the State Route 143 exit to Sky Harbor Boulevard was also closed for the investigation.
This is a developing story. Check for updates.
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