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Airline ground crew member dies after being ‘ingested’ into airplane engine: Report

An airline ground crew member died after being “ingested” into an airplane engine Saturday at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, Insider reported, citing the National Transportation Safety Board.

What are the details?

The NTSB said in a statement to Insider that the worker was “ingested” into the engine of the aircraft while it was at a gate with its parking brake set, the outlet added.

American Airlines flight 3408 — an Embraer E175 — had just arrived from Dallas, Reuters said, adding that the Federal Aviation Administration said the airport was closed after the incident.

The airport on Saturday said the accident occurred around 3 p.m. and that the worker was employed by Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines Group subsidiary, Insider reported.

Two people briefed on the matter told Reuters the initial investigation indicates the employee was killed in an accident involving one of the airplane’s engines that was running, Insider added.

“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” Wade A. Davis, the airport’s executive director, said in a statement, according to Insider. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Insider added that American Airlines confirmed the death of the Piedmont employee in a statement, saying it was “devastated by the accident.”

“We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time,” the statement also said, according to Insider.

The FAA and the NTSB will investigate the incident, Reuters said. The NTSB said in its statement to Insider that “a preliminary report is expected in two to three weeks.”

How are folks reacting?

Individuals commenting on the Insider story published by Yahoo News said the fatal accident could have been avoided.

“Worked airframes for 12 years,” one commenter wrote. “First thing I was told was to keep clear of intakes. Whenever engines were running, I was fully aware of my location, especially if I had to be near one for whatever reason. Whoever was running ground and that individual weren’t paying attention. Horrible way to perish, but something that could’ve 100% been avoided.”

Another commenter added: “Worked alongside aircraft engine flight technicians for many years. And ONE of the most important safety recommendations when one first began that job was, ‘When you see a ‘yellow screen barrier’ in front of an engine. it usually means the engine test is in operational mode, so DON’T invade that space!'”

Another commenter said, “There is no reason to approach a running jet engine…period. I, too, worked around jets for 20 years. You have to maintain situational awareness ALWAYS. It’s the only thing keeping you from getting hurt of killed.”

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