National

One overflowing toilet delayed thousands of people traveling to Florida

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

An unidentified person attempted to flush personal items down the toilet at Orlando International Airport on Saturday, resulting in sewage seeping into the airport’s customs area and delaying thousands of travelers, officials say.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, clean up from the one overflowing toilet took until Tuesday, as planes flying into the airport were diverted to other terminals and carpets were ripped up to clean.

Per WFTV, the delay most affected travelers who landed at the airport just as the overflow occurred, forcing them to stay on the tarmac as airport officials scrambled for a solution.

“As soon as we landed, they immediately told us that there were problems with the terminal and we would have to sit there on the tarmac for a while,” traveler Mike Ortiz told WFTV. “There were carpets ripped up and there were floor fans trying to air out what was, I guess, some flooding going on.”

The Orlando Sentinel reports that airport officials have determined that the person had attempted to flush clothes and packets of paper towels down the toilet. Police are still searching to identify the person.

According to WDBO, a hazmat team was required to clean the sewage.

The incident occurred just as Orlando International Airport announced a record year for passengers, with 43 million travelers passing through the airport. The airport is currently working on a major expansion to open by 2020, according to the Associated Press.

This is not the first sewage-related incident at an airport this week. Last Wednesday, an overflowing toilet leaked onto roughly 200 pieces of luggage at Nashville International Airport, according to the Tennessean.

Airport officials say the toilet had been stuffed with paper towels, and the airline affected, Southwest, offered replacement bags to some customers. An environmental team was required to clean the area, and at least one passenger told WSMV that she found brown stains on her bag.

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