US Long delays at Orlando airport after battery explodes in bag, causes panic and evacuation

05:35  11 november  2017
05:35  11 november  2017 Source:   Los Angeles Times

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- Travelers at Orlando International Airport faced lengthy delays Friday night after a battery exploded in a bag , causing people to panic and the airport to be evacuated . After the incident, flights were grounded. Passengers were asked to

Travellers at Orlando International Airport faced long delays on Friday night after a battery exploded in a bag , causing people to panic and the airport to be evacuated . After the incident, flights were grounded.

a view of a city: Control tower of the Orlando International Airport, on June 27, 2017. An exploding camera battery on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, caused some travelers to flee, but police say there is no threat to the public. © Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS Control tower of the Orlando International Airport, on June 27, 2017. An exploding camera battery on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, caused some travelers to flee, but police say there is no threat to the public.

ORLANDO, Fla. - Travelers at Orlando International Airport faced lengthy delays Friday night after a battery exploded in a bag, causing people to panic and the airport to be evacuated.

After the incident, flights were grounded. Passengers were asked to de-plane and people waiting at their gates were forced to pass through TSA security screening again.

A lithium camera battery overheated and exploded in the main terminal, which sparked hysteria among travelers, Orlando Police Department said.

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Orlando police said there was "no danger to the public" and "NO shots had been fired."

In a tweet, authorities said the camera bag was "smoldering."

Airport spokesman Rod Johnson said the noise was reported shortly after 5 p.m. in front of the security checkpoint to gates 1-59. He said full ground-stop was issued and passengers should check with their airlines for any delays.

The checkpoints remain closed, and Johnson said passengers who were at their gates are being brought back out into the main terminal to be re-screened.

Both terminal A and B were evacuated at the time of the incident. Johnson said airport officials will resume normal operation once authorities determine checkpoints can be safely reactivated.

Mike Robinson was at the airport and getting on a flight to Dallas when the incident happened.

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"It was pandemonium," he said. When the noise went off, Robinson said, people sprinted past the security checkpoint to take cover.

"Now, they're bringing people out of their gates, off-loading them to be screened again," he said. "There's thousands and thousands of people. ... I look back and I see a sea of people."

He said at least 10 bomb-sniffing dogs were brought out into the terminal.

Robinson said his flight was at 7:30 p.m., but that it would most likely be delayed.

Visitors quickly posted on social media that they had fled the airport and feared for their lives. While rumors circulated online, the Police Department posted a message on Twitter denouncing any danger.

"There has been NO shooting at Orlando International Airport. There was a loud sound that startled people, but no shots fired, no danger to public," the Police Department said.

Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com

Charlotte FAA worker accused of possessing pipe bomb released from jail Saturday .
An FAA employee at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and another man accused of possessing a weapon of mass destruction were released from jail Saturday morning, records show. That weapon was a homemade pipe bomb, authorities said. Paul George Dandan, the 30-year-old FAA employee, was arrested along with Derrick Fells, 39, on Friday night. Dandan was being held on $45,000 bond, while Fells' bond was $60,000. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Fells had created a pipe bomb that he intended to use on a neighbor whom he was feuding with. Fells changed his mind about using the weapon, and gave it to Dandan, according to police, who began investigating the case Nov. 3.

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