Police called to restore order as fights erupt at Spirit Airlines terminal in Fort Lauderdale


(ABC)– Chaos broke out at a Florida airport on Monday after multiple Spirit Airlines flights were canceled, leading to long lines, irate customers and altercations, according to police.

Deputies were called to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to deal with commotion there after several passengers became angry, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

“There were several people there that were upset,” Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gina Carter told ABC News on Monday. “We were called in to just make sure that things were kept from getting very unruly.”

Video posted on Twitter captured a chaotic scene at a Spirit Airlines terminal at the airport as angry travelers yelled at staff while police officers tried to restore order.

Carter said there were no injuries reported and things seemed to be under control now. She did not say if there were any arrests made, but cellphone video showed at least three people being taken away in handcuffs by deputies.

One witness told ABC News’ Florida affiliate WSVN on Monday that they saw a multiple people being detained.

“I saw two people go down on the floor and get … handcuffed and dragged out of here,” one witness, a passenger who was not named in the report, told WSVN on Monday.

Another passenger said he saw officers apprehending a woman.

“There was a lady [detained] earlier. She was quite upset and very vocal about her frustrations,” he said. “I see people are very disappointed.”

Spirit, a Florida-based discount airline, blamed the chaos on a canceled flights as a result of labor negotiations with their pilots.

“We are shocked and saddened to see the videos of what took place at Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport this evening,” the company said in a statement Monday. “This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network.”

The company accused the pilots of putting their “quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations” and the safety of Spirit staff.

Spirit said it filed a Federal lawsuit against the Airline Pilots Association, which it accused of intentionally disrupting the airline’s operations, leading to hundreds of canceled flights.

The Airline Pilots Association did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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