"Our TSA Team's performance was outstanding. I'm very proud of our team and how they responded to both the incident and the recovery process of rescreening passengers", said Jerry Henderson, TSA Federal Security Director. "I approached it, I radioed, then I picked up to the bag and brought it to that wheelchair sign in hopes that if it did go off, some of the shock would be absorbed by the pillar".
TSA Orlando routinely conducts active shooter drills and TSA officers are trained to direct passengers to safety.
It was later revealed that it was a lithium battery in a camera inside the bag that had exploded into flames.
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. This security breach led TSA to direct a ground stop and the re-screening of more than 5,000 passengers.
Regardless, photos given to Channel 9 showed a normally busy terminal that was completely empty. The surveillance video clearly shows passengers immediately reacting to the sights and sounds of an explosion with smoke coming from the backpack by running away from the area.
Every person who was on a plane sitting on the tarmac, waiting at a gate or just in the terminal had to go through airport security again.
"It's insane. Nobody knows anything", traveler McKenzie Golden said.
"There was a lot of confusion and human nature took its course, there were a lot of people running for what they thought were their lives", Brown said.
After an investigation, the battery responsible for the incident was reported to have been a camera battery, which is legal aboard flights.
Hours after the battery explosion, massive crowds were still working their way through security to get to their flights.