ORLANDO, Fla. — An off-duty TSA agent died Saturday after police said he jumped from a hotel balcony inside Orlando International Airport.
- Off-duty TSA agent jumped from balcony at Orlando airport
- The man in 40s had just clocked out from work
- Flight were delayed, passengers had to be rescreened
The agent, a man in his 40s, had just clocked out, according to TSA spokesperson Jenny Burke. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer's family, friends, and everyone in our TSA family," Burke said in a statement.
Police are investigating the death as an "apparent suicide."
The incident happened at about 9:30 a.m. near the east security checkpoint in Terminal A, which serves gates 70 through 129, airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell said in a statement.
A passenger who was waiting in line for a security screening said they heard a loud bang.
“All of a sudden you just hear this boom!” said Trista Eaden, who was traveling to Arizona. “Then I saw the TSA agents standing up and all of a sudden they just told us to run, to just go through the screening.”
The sight and sound sent passengers scattering, with many passing through security checkpoints without being screened, Fennell said. This caused a security breach and many passengers had to be rescreened.
Flights to and from the Terminal A gates were delayed and some passengers were told deplane. Two separate TSA screening areas in the terminal were also shutdown for more than two hours following the incident.
Southwest Airlines canceled 49 arriving flights and 45 departing flights, according to the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
Shortly before 12:30 p.m. TSA resumed screening thousands of passengers, with lines who formed lines wrappinng around to the check-in area, and as far back as the terminal's food court.
Spectrum News Staff contributed to this report.