ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – An officer from the Transportation Security Administration jumped to his death from a balcony in Florida's busiest airport on Saturday, which led to panic that led to some security checkpoints in stop for hours, grounded aircraft and caused serious delays
Passed Passengers ran past checkpoints that led to about half the gates at the Orlando International Airport after the man jumped, resulting in closures for up to three hours and some flight announcements.
"In no way were passengers in any Danger of Airlines said in a statement.
Those affected by the stop included Alaska, Air Canada, Delta and Southwest Airlines.
On Saturday afternoon, Southwest Airlines had canceled 49 inbound flights and 45 outbound flights, according to the airport.
"This is a maximum travel time on Saturdays, and two of our busiest airlines were hit, southwest and participate, then a couple of thousand passes Ngers may have been affected, says Carolyn Fennell, senior manager of public affairs, in an email.
The TSA officer, in his 40s, died of an apparent suicide, according to the Orlando Police Department, who described it as an isolated incident.
"Our hearts are with the TSA family in this very difficult time," said the department.
The man jumped from a hotel balcony inside the airport to the atrium where passengers are waiting to get through security
The officer was pronounced dead after being hospitalized, police said.
The airport tweeted that passengers rushed past checkpoints were returned for a new survey out of great caution. Two airside terminals were closed to passengers during the security sweep, and all flights to and from the affected ports were stopped until the security measures were restored, according to the airport.
"We ask that you have patience with airline personnel when they work through this tragic event," police police department tweeted.
Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., Noted in a tweet that the officer's death comes after TSA employees fought through a partial public closure. Together with other government workers, TSA officers worked without pay during the 35-day closure.
"Our @ TSA officers have already suffered so much under #GovernmentShutdown," Soto said. "This apparent suicide only adds to the tragedy experienced in Orlando Int."