An apparent suicide by a TSA agent at MCO on Saturday is reported to have sparked panic and delays at this facility. The unnamed man jumped from a hotel balcony in the interior of the airport. Passengers rushed through security checkpoints following the incident, which impacted multiple airlines.
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent is said to have jumped from a balcony at Orlando International Airport (MCO) in an apparent suicide on Saturday, the Associated Press reports. The incident, which involved a male agent in his 40s, caused delays to both security operations at MCO as well as flight operations at the facility.
The incident is said to have caused panic at MCO, with travelers rushing through security checkpoints in the aftermath of the incident.
The agent, who has not been publicly named, jumped from a hotel balcony inside of the airport.
In an effort to secure the facility, those passengers who had rushed through any checkpoints were examined by security agents again before being permitted to continue their journeys. The news agency reports that two of MCO’s airside terminals were shut as a precautionary measure and that flights at the affected gates were halted in the aftermath of the incident.
Offering her comments via e-mail to the news agency, Carolyn Fennell, the airport’s senior director of public affairs, said, “This is a peak travel time on Saturdays and two of our busiest airlines were affected, Southwest and Delta, so a couple of thousand passengers may have been affected.”
However, in a statement quoted by the news agency, airport authorities stated, “At no point were passengers in any danger.”
At 9:30 a.m., an individual jumped from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into the atrium area of the airport. A male in his 40s was found in critical condition and transported to the hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Preliminary information suggests an apparent suicide.
— Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) February 2, 2019
In a Tweet following the incident, the Orlando Police Department said, “We are working closely with our partners at @TSA and @MCO to restore normal airport operations. We ask that you have patience with airport personnel as they work through this tragic incident…”.
It added, “Our hearts are with the @TSA family during this very difficult time.”