Man Dies On Runway After Getting Sucked Into Turbine

( – An airport worker was recently killed at the San Antonio International Airport after being sucked into a jet engine turbine. The incident occurred late Friday, June 23 on the runway shortly after the Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles touched down in San Antonio. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said they are working with Delta in the “information gathering process” of the investigation to determine exactly what happened and how it happened.

The deceased ground handler worked for Unifi Aviation under contract to Delta, which says it is fully complying and assisting in the NTSB’s ongoing investigation. Unifi released a statement expressing that they are “deeply saddened” by the death. However, in their statement Unifi also says that the preliminary investigation shows that the “tragic incident” was “unrelated to Unifi’s operational processes, safety procedures and policies.”

According to a statement from the Bexar County Medical Examiner, the death was a suicide, although the NTSB and police investigation into the precise causes and potential liability is ongoing. The flight was reportedly taxiing to the gate with one turbine running when the worker was “ingested” into the turbine and gruesomely dismembered by the massive spinning jet engine. The identity of the baggage handler has not been released. San Antonio Airport spokeswoman Erin Rodriguez expressed deep sadness over what happened and said that the airport “will share more information as details become available.”

In December of last year an airport worker died after being sucked into a jet turbine of an Embraer 170 aircraft just after it landed on the runway at the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama. The NTSB investigation concluded that the 34-year-old victim Courtney Edwards had been “too close” to the turbine despite repeated warnings, leading to the accidental fatality. Edwards a ramp agent working for American Airlines subsidiary Piedmont Airlines led to Piedmont being found partially responsible and fined over $15,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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