MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVO) — A member of an airline ground crew working at an Alabama airport died Saturday afternoon after being “ingested into the engine” of a plane, authorities said.
The American Airlines/Piedmont Airlines employee was sucked into the engine of a parked American Airlines Embraer 170 around 3 p.m., according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
The NTSB said the plane was parked at the gate and its parking break was set at the time of the incident.
“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” airport Executive Director Wade Davis said in the statement.
The airport said in a Twitter post that normal operations resumed at 8:30 p.m. and an FAA investigation into the incident is ongoing.
“We are devastated by the accident involving a team member of Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines regional carrier, at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM),” American Airlines said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and our local team members. We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time,” the statement said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.