ORLANDO — An officer from the Transportation Security Administration jumped to his death from a balcony inside Florida's busiest airport Saturday, creating panic that brought some security checkpoints to a halt for several hours.
Panicked passengers rushed past checkpoints leading to about half of the gates at Orlando International Airport after the man jumped, resulting in the checkpoint closures and delays.
The TSA officer in his 40s died from an apparent suicide, according to the Orlando Police Department, which described it as an isolated incident.
"Our hearts are with the TSA family during this very difficult time," the department tweeted.
The man jumped from a hotel balcony inside the airport into the atrium where passengers wait to get through security.
The officer was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, according to the police.
The airport tweeted that passengers who rushed past checkpoints were returned for a second examination out of an abundance of caution. The standstill and rescreening caused delays for passengers who had to wait at least an hour and a half.
The airport warned passengers Saturday afternoon to give themselves plenty of time to get through security.
"We ask that you have patience with airport personnel as they work through this tragic incident," the Orlando Police Department tweeted.
The affected gates had flights for Delta, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Norwegian, Aer Lingus, Emirates, Air Canada, LATAM and Sun Country airlines.
Information from WKMG-TV was used in this report.