John Gross remembers frantically trying to scoop up his grandfather’s ashes and wondering why the Orlando TSA agent who spilled them was laughing.
Moments earlier, Gross’s carry-on bag had passed through an X-ray machine at Orlando International Airport when he said he heard someone call out, “Bag check.”
It was about 7:25 a.m. June 19 and he was booked on an 8 a.m. United Express connecting flight to Newark and then home to Indianapolis with a small glass jar of his grandfather Mario “Mark” Marcaletti’s cremated remains.
But that’s when he said a female Transportation Security Administration agent wearing blue latex gloves opened his bag, twisted open the jar labeled, “Human Remains,” and accidentally spilled at least a quarter of its contents.
“It thought it was routine at first and then I thought, ‘What the hell was she doing this for?’” Gross said Tuesday in a telephone interview with the Orlando Sentinel. “I got upset. She was laughing right at me — not a chuckle — she was laughing.”
Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman in Miami, said the agency is investigating the incident to find out what happened.