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TSA Officer Dies After Jumping From Orlando Airport Hotel Balcony

Danielle Prieur
Passengers at Orlando International Airport waited hours on Saturday after the apparent suicide of a TSA worker.

Security checkpoints at Florida's busiest airport were brought to a temporary halt for several hours on Saturday when some panicked passengers rushed past a checkpoint after a TSA officer fatally jumped from a hotel balcony inside the airport.

Preliminary information indicates the male Transportation Security Administration officer in his 40s died from an apparent suicide at Orlando International Airport, according to the Orlando Police Department. The police agency described it as an isolated incident.

"Our hearts are with the TSA family during this very difficult time," the Orlando Police Department tweeted.

Orlando International Airport tweeted that passengers who ran past the checkpoints leading to about half of the airport's gates without being screened properly were returned for a second examination in an abundance of caution.

The passengers rushed past the checkpoints when the TSA officer jumped from the hotel located 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 standstill and rescreening caused major delays for passengers who had to wait an hour and a half. The airport warned passengers Saturday afternoon to give themselves plenty of time.

"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.

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