Being that it is Florida’s busiest airport, delays and disruptions are expected at Orlando International Airport.
But on February 2, the commotion was triggered by something that nobody ever imagined would take place there: suicide.
According to CNN, a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer jumped to his death from a balcony inside one of the airport’s hotels.
The man, whose identity has not yet been released, was found in critical condition and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Neither the TSA nor the police have released information about the circumstances surrounding his fall, but it has been confirmed that the agent was off-duty at the time of the incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family, friends and everyone in our TSA family,” read a statement from the TSA.
Orlando police identified the hotel the man jumped from as the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which overlooks one of the security checkpoints.
He reportedly fell onto the atrium floor in the main terminal about 9:30, creating panic and chaos that led to closed checkpoints and flight delays.
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
Passengers told media outlets that no one knew what was going on at first, so there were people running all over the place.
“I saw the TSA agents standing up, and all of a sudden they just told us to run, to just go through the screening,” one traveler, who was waiting to be screened, told Spectrum News 13.
There were some who even thought that the loud bang came from a firearm.
Passengers were “required to be rescreened as a security precaution,” according to a statement the airport posted on social media.
This caused further delays and more cancellation of more than 100 flights to and from the Orlando airport.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the TSA officer who passed away today at @MCO. Our public servants work every day to keep us safe. Please keep them all in your prayers during this difficult time,” Rep. Val Demings wrote on Twitter.
TSA agents were unfortunately among the public servants who had to work without pay during the recent 35-day partial government shutdown.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.