Orlando police are investigating after a Transportation and Security Administration agent reportedly jumped from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into an “atrium area” of the Orlando International Airport Saturday morning.
Police said the man in his 40s jumped just after 9:30 a.m. and was transported in critical condition to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators are looking at his death as an apparent suicide.
Airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell said in an email travelers using gates 70-129 had to be rescreened by security after normal airport functions were disrupted by the incident.
Fennell said the man jumped from a hotel floor near a checkpoint that serves the affected gates. The Hyatt Regency is located inside Orlando International Airport with balconies overlooking the public area where passengers line up for security screenings.
“This is an isolated incident within the atrium area of the airport. Any reports of suspicious vehicles related to this incident are FALSE,” Orlando Police Department posted on Twitter to rebut any rumors surrounding the incident.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family, friends and everyone in our TSA family,” the TSA said in a statement Saturday.
Abbey Shipp, who was traveling back to Atlanta from Orlando,was expecting to wait at least 100 minutes to maker her way through security after the incident.
“I think the backup happened because when he hit the floor, people thought it was an explosion; someone yelled “bomb!” and everyone ran,” Shipp said in a direct message on Twitter. “Some ran straight through security so they had to empty other parts of the airport too and secure them before letting us through.”
Saturday’s incident isn’t the first suicide at the Hyatt Regency. In 2012, airport authorities responded after a man jumped to his death from one of the hotel’s balconies in the middle of the night, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel.
By afternoon, normal airport operations had resumed and the affected gates had been reopened.
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