TSA agent falls from hotel balcony inside OIA

TSA agent falls from hotel balcony inside OIA”

An off-duty Transportation Security Administration officer fell to his death Saturday from a hotel balcony inside Florida's Orlando International Airport, officials said, leading to flight delays. Along with other government workers, TSA officers worked without pay during the 35-day shutdown. The closure began on began on December 22 and lasted for 35 days.

The man jumped from a hotel balcony inside the airport into the atrium where passengers wait to get through security. The man, who was in his 40s, was found in critical condition and was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Kissimmee, said on Twitter news of the apparent suicide "only adds to tragedy experienced at [OIA]" coming off a hard month for the federal workers, who "already suffered so much during the [government shutdown]".

'We can confirm the deceased individual involved in this incident is an employee of the @TSA.

In a statement, TSA officials said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer's family, friends and everyone in our TSA family".

Images uploaded to social media show large crowds and lines gathering at the airport.

Witnesses say people panicked causing travelers to run through security checkpoints without being screened.

The TSA confirmed: 'At the time of the incident, several passengers scattered into the sterile area unscreened.

"We are working closely with our partners at @TSA and @MCO to restore normal airport operations. Thanks again for your patience", the airport wrote.

"At first I thought it was unusual, like anyone would", Shaw, of Safety Harbor, said. Now the airport is shutdown. The police agency described it as an isolated incident.

Passengers at gates 70 through 129 were being rescreened, and flights arriving to those gates could be delayed, airport spokesperson Carolyn Fennell told CBS affiliate WKMG.

The multilevel Hyatt Regency overlooks the atrium, where the main terminal's east security checkpoint is located. 'We are saddened by the event that occurred at our hotel and our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by this awful situation'.

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