Florida

TSA agent dies after jump from balcony, causing confusion and delays at Orlando airport

Confusion at the Orlando airport after a reported suicide

A TSA agent allegedly attempted suicide on Feb. 2, 2019 at the Orlando International Airport, sparking confusion and concern and shutdown of portions of the busy airport.
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A TSA agent allegedly attempted suicide on Feb. 2, 2019 at the Orlando International Airport, sparking confusion and concern and shutdown of portions of the busy airport.

A TSA agent committed suicide by jumping from the balcony of a Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Orlando International Airport on Saturday morning, sparking confusion and delays at the busy airport.

The man landed at the airport’s atrium, near some security checkpoints.

Gates 70-129 were closed for a few hours after the 9:30 a.m. incident and the Federal Aviation Administration briefly grounded flights.

Orlando police reported that they were working the incident at the airport, but have not released the agent’s name. They did describe him as a male in his 40s. He was in critical condition when police arrived and died at the hospital, police said.

Orlando police, working alongside the Transportation Security Administration, said it was an isolated incident within the atrium area of the airport. “Any reports of suspicious vehicles related to this incident are FALSE. The person that jumped has been pronounced deceased.”

In a statement released to the media, Orlando International Airport (MCO) confirmed that the all of the airport is now open but there are delays because all of the passengers heading to the effected gates have to be rescreened.

Fox35 sports anchor/reporter Adam Shadoff posted a video clip of an airport when it was “at a standstill” after 10:30 a.m.

Passengers at the airport started tweeting around 9:45 that they heard a “bang” and then word began to spread.

“Alright, so we’re in the Orlando airport this morning and all I hear is a loud BANG followed by people screaming. So naturally I thought there was some type of attack and started RUNNINNGGGGG. Spilling my hot coffee all over my hands,” one man posted.

For a few hours, trains from sides 2 and 4 of the airport were stopped and airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell told Click Orlando this was out of an “abundance of caution.”

Fennell told the news site some passengers may have gotten through a security checkpoint at Gates 70-129 without being screened because of “an isolated incident.”

Throughout the morning, travelers took to social media to report on the delays and confusion.

“Terrible situation at Orlando airport a little while ago. Person fell from one of the hotel balconies. That was tense there for a bit. Glad kids are ignorant,” posted one.



A hotel guest at the Hyatt told WPLG he saw the man climb over a railing and jump from the balcony. “Thought it was strange and then thought he may be observing the security area below since he was TSA.”

Suicide is on the rise across the United States. It is more than a mental health condition — states and communities can adopt comprehensive strategies to prevent suicide.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.


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