UPDATE (3:10 p.m.): The security checkpoint at Newark Airport Terminal A was reopened at 3:10 p.m. Tuesday after being closed several hours by a cleaning fluid leak that sickened at least three TSA agents.
"There was an issue with the HVAC system and maintenance was cleaning the coils with a degreaser [just before 11 a.m.]," Joseph Pentangelo of the Port Authority told Daily Voice.
"When the system was turned on, the odor from the degreaser made TSA officers sick," he said.
"The checkpoint shut down by the TSA because of the odor and will remain shut down until the odor is cleared," Pentangelo said at 2:47 p.m. "[Maintenance] was responding with ventilators to assist."
The checkpoint reopened just in time: The situation among commuters was getting a bit tense.
"Everyone who was at the gates got sent back out," one of them told Daily Voice. "People are starting to get anxious and pushy.
"My plane coming in just changed the status to 4:40 from 2:50 p.m.," the Florida-bound New Jersey native said. "But everything on the departure list says 'On Time.' "
Announcements began just after 2:30 p.m. of which flights would leave when.
All flights scheduled to leave before 3 p.m. had first priority.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.