Ricardo Perez, a U.S. Army veteran, showed his bravery on Veterans Day when he grabbed the bag and ran it to an area where an explosion would not hurt anyone.
A video showed people evacuating trams at the airport. Seeing the smoke, the passenger and others around them immediately moved away from the bag, knocking over line dividers and dropping luggage in a panic.
As per the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), lithium-ion or lithium metal batteries, usually used for cell phones, laptops and portable chargers, are only allowed to be brought on an airplane in a carry-on bag and must adhere to regulations on wattage and weight.
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TSA Orlando routinely conducts active shooter drills and TSA officers are trained to direct passengers to safety.
"I leaned over, grabbed it, picked it up", Perez told ABC-13 Orlando. "And so I did what I had to do". The entire incident lasted approximately four hours from start to finish to get all passengers re-screened.
There was a battery inside that was over-heated and exploding in pops that sounded like gunfire. "Because it's louder than the public address system", Brown said.
Brown said in the letter that emergency staff tried to restore calm "but as everyone is aware, a few trying to communicate a message to this large of a mass is a daunting task".
Hours after the battery explosion, massive crowds were still working their way through security to get to their flights.