ORLANDO, Fla. — The chaos that brought one of the nation's largest airports to a standstill on Saturday is bringing to light potential concerns after a TSA worker jumped from a balcony in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in what Orlando Police are calling an apparent suicide.
- Airport operations back to normal after "apparent suicide"
- Police say TSA worker jumped from balcony, died
- Concerns raised over security, mental health of TSA workers
The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. Saturday inside Terminal A, just yards away from two TSA screening areas that had to be shut down for hours yesterday while authorities worked to get airport operations back to normal.
"All of a sudden you just hear this boom! Then I saw the TSA agents standing up and all of a sudden they just told us to run, to just go through screening," passenger Trista Eaden, traveling to Arizona, said.
Thousands of passengers were delayed after the airport said the incident caused a security breach, forcing people to have to be re-screened through security.
At the height of Saturday's incident, about 100 flights were canceled — mainly from Southwest Airlines. The airport is fully operational today, however, four flights were canceled Sunday morning. Passengers are encouraged to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
Another major concern for the airport is how TSA workers are handling the loss of one of their own.
Spectrum News spoke to a local Union representative at a Town Hall meeting following the incident, and she said TSA agents overall have been dealing with added stress the last few weeks.
"I think we all as a group need to be more aware of each other going through these times. Keep an eye out. Try to look at people and say, 'Hey, how's your day?' And not everyone wants to open up to everybody so we just gotta do our best," Deborah Hannah, local president of 556, TSA, said.
Counseling services are available for federal workers through the Community Emergency Response Team, which can offer services for workers going through troubling times. Also, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 for anyone who needs someone to talk to.
A moment of silence was also held at the meeting for the TSA worker who died.
Authorities have not released his name yet, only that he was a male in his 40's.
The investigation into why the agent jumped from the balcony is still under investigation by Orlando Police.
Florida lawmakers have also weighed in on the tragedy.