Feb. 2 (UPI) -- An off-duty Transportation Security Administration officer, in an apparent suicide, fell to his death Saturday inside the Orlando International Airport, disrupting flights.
Mass confusion caused travelers to go past security checkpoints unscreened, and delay or cancel some incoming and outgoing flights from Terminal A.
Orlando police posted on Twitter an unidentified man in his 40s jumped from one of the Hyatt Regency Hotel balconies, which overlooks an area where people line up for one of the airport's security checkpoints. He fell onto the atrium floor in the main terminal at about 9:30 a.m. Eastern.
"The officer had just clocked out, he was off duty," TSA spokeswoman Jenny Burke said in an email to the Washington Post.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
"Preliminary information suggests an apparent suicide," Orlando police tweeted.
TSA agents weren't paid for three weeks because of the partial government shutdown that ended earlier this week.
Several passengers went through without screening, the TSA said. All passengers at gates 70 to 129 had to be rescreened, the airport said.
Trista Eaden said she was waiting in line for screening when she heard a loud bang.
"Then I saw the TSA agents standing up, and all of a sudden they just told us to run, to just go through the screening," she told Spectrum News 13.
WFTV-TV video showed long lines at the checkpoint early Saturday afternoon.
Around 3 p.m., the wait at those checkpoints had been reduced to less than 15 minutes, the airport tweeted.
But numerous flights were canceled.
"As several flights have been cancelled, passengers are advised to contact their airline for flight status, esp Southwest passengers," the airport tweeted. "Residual delays possible as airline partners work toward normal ops. Thanks again for your patience.
As of 7:30 p.m., 119 flights from the airport were delayed -- 22 percent -- and 48 were canceled, 9 percent, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware.com. Also, incoming flights were affected -- 84 delayed, 15 percent, and 48 were canceled, 8 percent.
For three weeks, TSA agents weren't paid because of the partial government shutdown.