Federal officials say they are investigating after a ground crew member died after being “ingested” into a plane’s engine at San Antonio International Airport last week.
The Delta flight had arrived in San Antonio from Los Angeles International on Friday at around 10:25 p.m. and was taxing to its gate with one engine on, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement.
As the plane was taxiing, “a worker was ingested into that engine,” NTSB explained.
“The NTSB is continuing to gather information about the event,” the statement continued. The San Antonio International Airport said it is working with authorities in the investigation.
“We are heartbroken and grieving the loss of an aviation family member’s life in San Antonio. Our hearts and full support are with their family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” Delta Airlines said in a statement to Nexstar.
The individual was an employee of Unifi Aviation, which said in a statement, “From our initial investigation, this incident was unrelated to Unifi’s operational processes, safety procedures and policies.”
“Out of respect for the deceased, we will not be sharing any additional information,” the statement continued. “While police and other officials continue to investigate this incident, we defer to them on providing further details.”
A similar incident happened late last year.
A ramp agent died at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama after they were pulled into the engine of a plane that was parked at a gate. In a preliminary report released in January, the NTSB said the woman had been warned by other crew members to keep her distance.