Violence around the world added to panic that swept across Orlando International Airport on Friday night after a passenger dropped a bag quickly to the ground, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Phil Brown said in a blog post Saturday.
Officer Ricardo Perez, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, swooped in and ran the bag away from travelers.
Numerous people at OIA reported there was a panic caused by those loud noises initially thought to be a gunshot.
"Our TSA Team's performance was outstanding". Perez said the pillars would have blocked a potential blast from passengers. "Our people responded as they are trained to do, and to lead passengers to safety".
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. The bag was smoldering; no one hurt.
This latest incident is bad news for photographers who are already frustrated with airport security in the U.S. tightening its policies regarding cameras and other large electronics. "As a result of the incident, a ground stop was issued and a number of flights were held". Because of uncertainty about the noise, Orlando police tweeted that no shots were fired and there wasn't any danger to the public.
The OPD Twitter post did not go into detail about what had caused the loud sound.
Regardless, photos given to Channel 9 showed a normally busy terminal that was completely empty.
There has been NO shooting at Orlando International Airport.
Shortly after 5 p.m. witnesses reported hearing a loud noise inside the main terminal building in front of a TSA security checkpoint to Gates 1-59.
"It's insane. Nobody knows anything", traveler McKenzie Golden said. Those individuals who were asked to exit the terminal are now having to pass through security checkpoints, which in turn is causing some delays among departing flights. "I look back and I see a sea of people".
Hours after the battery explosion, massive crowds were still working their way through security to get to their flights.