A photographer in Orlando, Florida yesterday had a very bad day.
Not only did the battery on his camera explode, but it happened to do so at Orlando International Airport, causing bedlam in its aftermath.
What many people believed was a gunshot was actually the sound of a camera’s lithium-ion battery exploding.
But no one knew that in the beginning so, as things tend to go in these situations, panic and chaos reigned until police arrived to calm the scene.
Traveler Mackenzie Golden told WFTV 9 “I heard people screaming and then everybody hit the ground and people were basically running over each other, trampling each other.”
It’s not irrational, really, when you consider the United States’ recent string of public shootings and the general air of unease at airports that lingers since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, but it can’t help but be vexing that this is some kind of state of normal expectations.
Local news affiliate WFTV 9 reports that TSA agents were telling passengers to run in the immediate moments after the explosion. 24 flights were canceled and many were delayed as a consequence of the camera’s exploding battery.
Airport officials confirmed it was an exploding lithium-ion battery after finding it smoldering inside a bag.
Prior to this, as a precautionary measure “a ground stop was issued and a number of flights were held while passengers were allowed back into the building and security checkpoints reactivated,” according to a statement from airport officials.
Travelers evacuated the immediate area of the smoldering camera and had to re-enter the airport by going through security checkouts again, resulting in extremely long lines and more than a couple of frustrated travelers, with Instagram user kidd_in_action captioning his photo with “I’d just like to say that it’s ok buddy these things happen and it only affected 24 flights (at Orlando alone) not to mention the other flights worldwide and the 100s of 1000s of people because you couldn’t turn off your camera… at least everyone is safe” accompanied by the hashtag “sarcasm,” in case that didn’t jump out at you from the text.
Just another friendly reminder to power down your devices as much as possible and to turn them off before storing them inside of a bag.