Arts&Culture

TSA agent grabs smoking bag, runs it away from passengers

TSA agent grabs smoking bag, runs it away from passengers

An exploding lithium ion camera battery in a passenger's backpack caused panic at Orlando International Airport last Friday.

November 10, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) - An exploding lithium battery in a camera bag at Orlando International Airport set off a scene of total chaos and delayed flights for several hours Friday.

Brown said a complete review of the incident is planned for Monday.

After the incident, thousands of people were forced to go back through the TSA lines, causing severe delays and flight cancelations.

One of the thousands of travelers at the scene described it as "pandemonium", the Sentinel said.

Security checkpoints began requiring a separate screening for cameras back in July, and the U.S. is now urging airlines to ban cameras in checked bags due to fears of camera batteries exploding and causing catastrophic fires.

Authorities had to declare a ground stop and re-secure the airport, a process that takes hours at large airports like Orlando.

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Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Phil Brown later blamed "all of the events occurring around the world" for adding to the day's panic.

The Orlando Police Department, though, said on Twitter that no shots had been fired and it was only "a loud sound that startled people".

"After investigation, it has been determined that a lithium-ion battery inside a camera overheated and exploded", the airport tweeted.

Airport spokesman Rod Johnson told the Sentinel that the noise was reported shortly after 5 p.m.in front of the security checkpoint for Gates 1 to 59.

The checkpoint for gates 70 through 129 was reopened after security sweeps indicated they could be safely reactivated.

Flights were grounded and the airport was evacuated.


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