NEW YORK (AP) – Authorities partially evacuated the Delta Air Lines terminal at LaGuardia Airport for about half an hour Friday after a man left a checkpoint before screeners finished testing a swab for explosives residue from his shoes, the Transportation Security Administration said.

Authorities stopped looking for the man early Friday evening after conducting an extensive search for him in the terminal, causing flight delays into Friday evening.

“We suspect that he left the checkpoint under the impression that his screening was complete,” TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said. “The fact that the machine alarmed should not be a cause for concern as some commonly found substances can set it off.”

Outgoing flights at Delta’s terminal D were immediately halted after the man walked away. About an hour later, at 3:48 p.m. authorities evacuated the secure area of the terminal beyond the checkpoints while searching for the man using canine police units.

By 4:15 p.m. authorities started screening passengers again. Normal flight operations resumed with some delays just after 5 p.m.

“The lesson learned here is that passengers need to pay close attention during the screening process,” Davis said.



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