Lithium battery explodes in bag at Orlando International Airport, police say

Carla Harmon
November 14, 2017

Bag went and started smoking.

Ricardo Perez, a 20-year veteran of the Army before joining the TSA, placed the bag "between a concrete column and a concrete planter to mitigate any harm that might come with a full explosion", according to a TSA statement commending the agent for his actions and the passengers for their quick reactions "given the current threat environment".

The battery, stored in a passenger's bag in the security line, exploded, and caught fire.

"Our TSA Team's performance was outstanding".


"In between the pillars in hopes that if it would go off it would be able to have some of the shock absorbed by the pillar and the concrete posts", said Perez. "Our people responded as they are trained to do, and to lead passengers to safety".

"In an abundance of caution, passengers inside the terminal were instructed to exit the building while Orlando Police and Orlando International Airport staff investigated", the airport said.

The department later said on Twitter that the noise was caused by a lithium batter inside a camera that exploded.

"Some witnesses panicked and self-evacuated the area", Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown said in a statement.


"In an abundance of precaution the TSA directed the airport to have all passengers at every gate be brought back to the main terminal for rescreening, including all that had boarded a departing flight and those on aircraft awaiting to take off".

She had just gone through the security checkpoint and was preparing to get onto a flight home to MI when the chaos hit. Airport officials say the security checkpoints were breached as people like Jan Sorino feared the worst.

Numerous flights were delayed due to the incident.

That nightmare became a reality for one unlucky traveler: A camera battery explosion at the Orlando airport caused panic and concern last week.


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