June 29 (UPI) -- All landings and takeoffs at New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport were halted for about 45 minutes Saturday morning because of an unspecified "airport emergency" involving a plane bound for Houston.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the problem aboard United flight 2098 on an Airbus A320, was linked to a blown tire.
"The crew reported a brake problemm" the FAA told WNBC-TV. "The two left main tires blew when landing. Runway 22L remains closed at this time. Passengers were deplaned via slides."
The airport posted on Twitter at 8:46 a.m.: "Due to an airport emergency there are currently no arrivals nor departures from Newark Airport.Please check with your carrier before coming to the airport."
Later the sirport tweeted at 9:36 a.m.: "EWR Airport reopened. Expect delays. Please check with your carriers."
The United Airlines flight bound for Houston's George Bush International Airport returned to the airport shortly after takeoff.
"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," John Murray told CNN. "That's when we landed ... at Newark."
He said emergency crews them rushed them off the jet.
"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," Murray said.
All passengers were taken to a terminal where alternate arrangements were being made.
During the ground stop, FlightAware data showed 130 flights in or out of Newark already delayed.
Earlier this month, a United Airlines passenger jet skidded off the runway, causing flight delays.