Airport officials confirmed that a Texas airport employee was murdered after being "ingested" into the engine of a Delta Air Lines aircraft.
On Friday night, a ground crew member was pulled into the engine of a Los Angeles-bound aircraft at San Antonio International Airport, prompting the dispatch of emergency services, as The Daily Wire reported.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that the incident occurred as the aircraft was taxiing to its gate.
“An accident occurred on the ground at San Antonio International Airport (SAT) tonight that resulted in the fatality of an airline ground crew member,” the airport said in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident and are working with authorities as they begin their investigation. We will share more information as details become available.”
The unidentified victim was employed by Unifi Aviation, an Atlanta-based ground handling and aviation services corporation under contract with Delta. The business stated that it was "deeply saddened by the loss of our employee" in the "tragic" accident.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased, and we remain focused on supporting our employees on the ground and ensuring they are being taken care of during this time,” Unifi added.
Officials from the NTSB confirmed on Saturday that the employee was "ingested" into the jet turbine and stated that they were in contact with Delta to investigate the accident. According to Unifi Aviation, the fatality was not the result of their policies or operations.
“From our initial investigation, this incident was unrelated to Unifi’s operational processes, safety procedures and policies,” the company said.
“Out of respect for the deceased, we will not be sharing any additional information. While police and other officials continue to investigate this incident, we defer to them on providing further details.”
FlightAware data indicates that the aircraft involved was Delta flight 1111, an Airbus A319 with 132 passenger seats.
Courtney Edwards, a mother of three, was pulled into an American Airlines aircraft engine on New Year's Eve at Alabama's Montgomery Regional Airport.
Edwards worked for American subsidiary Piedmont Airlines. Piedmont was fined $15,625 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in June after the agency determined the airline company was at fault.
Such occurrences are extremely uncommon. According to Stanford University, during launch, jet engines can "suck" in 1.2 tons of air per second via their powerful fans and compressors.