Newark airport traffic delayed as plane makes unscheduled landing

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A picture taken by passenger John Murray shows a United Airlines plane that he says was diverted to Newark airport Saturday morning.

(CNN) — Arrivals and departures were delayed at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday morning because of an unspecified “airport emergency,” the airport said on Twitter.

Officials with the airport or the Federal Aviation Administration couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about the emergency.

But a passenger who was aboard United Airlines flight, John Murray, gave CNN one apparent explanation: His plane was diverted to Newark because of an emergency with that aircraft shortly after taking off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Saturday morning.

“All I know is that 10 minutes after takeoff we weren’t getting much altitude, we were just circling around northern New Jersey and not going anywhere,” he said. “That’s when we landed … at Newark.”

“Emergency crews ushered us out of the plane” after landing, he said.

“I spoke with one of the emergency crews who told us that apparently, we had a flat tire and there was something about friction … and that possibly there was smoke, and that’s why we had to make the emergency landing.”

Airport announced emergency around 8:35 a.m. ET

The airport initially tweeted around 8:35 a.m. ET that no arrivals or departures were being allowed because of an emergency.

About an hour later, the airport said it had reopened — but that travelers should expect delays.

All passengers eventually were taken to a terminal, Murray said. He said was looking into getting another flight.

His plane, United Airlines Flight 2098, had been bound for Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

United couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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