A BRAVE security official grabbed a suspicious bag that began smoking at a US airport and moved it away from crowds of passengers.

These incredible stills from CCTV footage show the moment agent Ricardo Perez picked up the case and placed it between two pillars to absorb the blast if it exploded, The Sun reports.

Perez, who works for the Transport Security Administration at Orlando International Airport in Florida, told News 6: "There were folks all over. Bag went and started smoking.

Ricardo Perez didn’t hesitate before lunging for the smoking bag. Picture: NEWS 6
Ricardo Perez didn’t hesitate before lunging for the smoking bag. Picture: NEWS 6

"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."

The airport worker has been hailed a hero. Picture: NEWS 6
The airport worker has been hailed a hero. Picture: NEWS 6

It later turned out that a lithium battery in a camera inside the bag had exploded into flames. But it still caused chaos, fear and hours of delays.

"[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.

The explosion was caused by lithium batteries inside the bag. Picture: NEWS 6
The explosion was caused by lithium batteries inside the bag. Picture: NEWS 6

Perez said he joined the TSA, an agency within the US Department of Homeland Security, after the September 11 attacks.

"I lost a few friends, TSA became available and I figured that was the way to serve my country again," he said.

Greater Orlando Aviation 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."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission.



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