False alarm briefly grounds flights at Newark

March 25, 2011 4:37:14 PM PDT
A fire alarm in the traffic control tower prompted a ground stop at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The incident stopped departures for 20 minutes, the FAA said.

It turned out to be a false alarm - no fire.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says a faulty sensor on the tower's 15th floor caused the trouble starting at 5:50 p.m.

She says that the tower was evacuated but that three controllers remained to monitor incoming flights.

Other controllers began to set up a temporary tower atop a terminal.

Departures were held until the sensor was replaced at 6:10 p.m. and operations resumed.

Bergen says four flights were diverted from Newark and landed at other airports but it wasn't immediately known where they went.

Do you have something to add to this story? Click here to contact Eyewitness News.