Panic and delays at Orlando International Airport on Friday, November 10, 2017. Thousands of travelers experienced hours of waiting at security checkpoints.
A lithium camera battery overheated and exploded in the main terminal, causing people to panic and the airport to be evacuated. The incident sparked hysteria among passengers.
The explosion happened at 5 p.m. and shortly after the incident, all flights were grounded. Travelers were ordered to disembark planes and those waiting at their gates were forced to pass through TSA security screening again. Hours later, standing in slow-moving lines, annoyed travelers clogged all the terminals.
After the incident, travelers posted on Twitter and other social media that they had fled the airport and feared for their lives. It was said that at least 10 bomb-sniffing dogs were brought into the terminal.
Orlando Police Department posted a message on Twitter denouncing any danger. According to the authorities, there was “no danger to the public” and “NO shots had been fired”.
Airport spokesman Rod Johnson announced the noise was reported in front of the security checkpoint for Gates 1-59. A full ground-stop was issued at 5:30 p.m. and lasted until 9 p.m., said Phil Brown, CEO of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Both terminals A and B were evacuated, and all trams were stopped temporarily. The security checkpoints had to remain closed while the incident was investigated by the authorities. All gates reopened to travelers by 8:45 p.m.
According to Orlando Sentinel.