Confusion and delays at airport after TSA agent falls to his death

People pack lines at an Orlando airport security checkpoint Saturday after a TSA agent fell to his death

People pack lines at an Orlando airport security checkpoint Saturday after a TSA agent fell to his death

Along with other government workers, TSA officers worked without pay during the 35-day shutdown. He was found in critical condition and taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

James Shaw, a guest at the hotel, said he saw the TSA officer climb over the balcony railing overlooking the atrium.

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

In footage posted online passengers can be seen standing just yards from yellow police tape in a busy atrium of the airport.

Images uploaded to social media show large crowds and lines gathering at the airport.

TSA officials later said that, as a result of the confusion, "several passengers scattered into the sterile area unscreened".

ABC News reported that investigators believe the incident was a "statement suicide", to send a message to the public, although police did not elaborate. "Thanks again for your patience", the airport wrote. Panic was in full effect!

"At first I thought it was odd, like anyone would", Shaw, of Safety Harbor, said.

'After about 15 minutes we were told it wasn't a shooter it was a TSA agent who jumped from the 10th floor of the hotel right into the middle of the airport terminal! Now the airport is shutdown.

Another added on Twitter: 'A TSA agent jumped from a top balcony, unidentified bangs go off, people running everywhere, and right past the security, which then led to a security breach'.

The airport said they were working toward normal operations and reminded passengers going to the airport to allow extra time to get through security.

Police said the incident was isolated and reports "suspicious vehicles" related to this incident were false.

A spokeswoman for Orlando International Airport told television station WKMG that passengers on two shuttles leading to airport gates were returned for a second examination in "an abundance of caution" after some passengers got through the checkpoints without being screened properly.

"Terrible situation at Orlando airport a little while ago".

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