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14 November 2017, 03:54 | Cesar Cruz
Exploding battery in bag causes brief panic at OIA
Orlando International Airport leaders met Monday to discuss how the airport handled an incident last week in which a camera battery exploded creating widespread panic and what they learned. Seeing the smoke, the passenger and others around them immediately moved away from the bag, knocking over line dividers and dropping luggage in a panic.
The Transportation Safety Administration released surveillance video showing an agent moving a smoking bag containing an exploding lithium-ion battery away from passengers during a panic at Orlando International Airport Friday.
"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 TSA Team's performance was outstanding. There was a loud sound that startled people, but no shots fired, no danger to public".
"After an investigation, it was determined that a lithium battery inside a camera overheated and exploded".
Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown said it was next to impossible for a few workers to get the message out to the masses that the incident was a non-emergency.
The incident was first reported just after 5 p.m., airport officials said in a statement. Many passengers fled through the security checkpoints and into the terminal.
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Regardless, photos given to Channel 9 showed a normally busy terminal that was completely empty.
Video footage shows the dramatic aftermath of the evacuation.
She had just gone through the security checkpoint and was preparing to get onto a flight home to MI when the chaos hit.
"Perez added: "(I'm) a lot relieved that it wasn't a worst-case scenario because it could have been and a lot of people hurt".
After an investigation, the battery responsible for the incident was reported to have been a camera battery, which is legal aboard flights.
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