Lithium battery explodes in bag at Orlando International Airport, police say

Orlando International Airport halted flights for almost four hours Friday - canceling dozens of flights and delaying thousands of travelers - to investigate security concerns after a camera battery that overheated and was mistaken for a gunshot. Passengers were asked to disembark planes and people waiting at their gates were forced to pass through TSA security screening again.

Security checkpoints began requiring a separate screening for cameras back in July, and the U.S. is now urging airlines to ban cameras in checked bags due to fears of camera batteries exploding and causing catastrophic fires.

According to reports, the Orlando Police Department said the lithium battery had overheated and exploded in the main terminal, leaving the camera bag smoldering. He says a complete review of airport response will take place on Monday.

Greater Orlando International Aviation Authority CEO Phil Brown said in a letter posted online Saturday that the camera battery inside the bag apparently caught fire and began to smoke, the passenger dropped the bag and emergency responders moved it away from crowds.

Airport spokesman Rod Johnson told the Sentinel that the noise was reported shortly after 5 p.m.in front of the security checkpoint for Gates 1 to 59.

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

"It was pandemonium", he said of people sprinting past the security checkpoint to take cover. Johnson said airport officials will resume normal operations once authorities determined that the checkpoints could safely be reopened.

"There has been NO shooting at Orlando International Airport". "Now they're bringing people out of their gates, off-loading them to be screened again".

The Federal Aviation Administration allows lithium ion batteries under 100 watt hours in carry-on luggage, which includes most consumer-sized batteries for things like cell phones, cameras and other electronic devices.

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