A heroic security official put his life in danger when he grabbed a suspicious bag that began smoking at a US airport and moved it away from crowds of passengers. CCTV footage shows the incredible moment agent Ricardo Perez picked up the bag and placed it between two pillars to absorb the blast if it exploded.
Perez, who works for the Transport Security Administration at Orlando International Airport in Florida said: "There were folks all over. Bag went and started smoking. I approached it, I radioed and then I picked up the bag and brought it over to that handicap sign over there in hopes that if it would go off, it would be able to have some of the shock absorbed by those two pillars. I was so close to the bag. Let me get it out of the way.”
It was later discovered that the smoking was the result of a lithium battery in a camera inside the bag that had burst into flames. "[I'm] a lot relieved that it wasn't a worst-case scenario because it could have been and a lot of people hurt," Perez said.
Perez joined the TSA after the September 11 attacks. Authority spokesman Rod Johnson said: "As a result of the incident, a ground stop was issued and a number of flights were held while passengers were allowed back into the building and security checkpoints reactivated.”