Ground-Handling Worker Sucked Into Plane Engine – Tragedy At San Antonio International Airport

A ground-handling employee at San Antonio International Airport (SAT) tragically lost their life late on Friday night after being “sucked into” a plane’s engine shortly after the aircraft had landed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the unimaginable tragedy.

Delta Airbus A319
The Airbus A319 involved in the incident had shortly landed at San Antonio International Airport © Aeroprints.com

Tragedy At San Antonio International Airport – Worker Sucked Into Plane Engine

On Friday, 23rd June, an airport employee was tragically killed at San Antonio Airport as they were reportedly “sucked into” an aircraft engine shortly after the plane had touched down.

Delta Flight 1111 arrived at San Antonio International Airport, Texas, from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), California, at around 10:23 p.m. The plane in question, an Airbus A319, was reportedly taxiing to the gate and is said to have had only one engine running.

The incident is reported to have taken place on the airport’s tarmac at 10:25 p.m. local time, and emergency crews were called to the scene shortly after.

The National Transportation Safety Board is in contact with Delta Air Lines and is currently conducting an information-gathering investigation. The investigation is expected to run for a considerable amount of time as investigators examine the aircraft’s maintenance records, the airport’s safety procedures, and the possibility of human error being involved.

The victim, who has not been named, was an employee of Unifi Aviation, a Delta Air Lines contractor, and worked to support ground-handling operations. The company released a statement on the tragedy, providing an update on their preliminary investigation findings.

In their statement, Unifi Aviation said:

“Unifi Aviation is deeply saddened by the loss of our employee at San Antonio International Airport during a tragic incident in the late hours of Friday, June 23, 2023. 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”.

“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. While police and other officials continue to investigate this incident, we defer to them on providing further details”.

Unifi Workers
The worker involved in the incident was an employee of Unifi Aviation © Unifi

Airport Danger Areas

There are two potential airport danger areas. The latest incident highlights the dangers posed to airport employees working on or near the taxiway.

Another airfield area that also poses a threat to aviation staff and passengers is the airport runway area. At the beginning of the year, on Friday, 13th January, a Delta Air Lines plane and an American Airlines aircraft were involved in a near-fatal collision at New York’s JFK Airport (JFK) when the latter aircraft crossed the path of the former after entering from an adjacent taxiway. Quick-thinking air traffic control staff were, fortunately, able to prevent the near-catastrophic collision, and no passengers or crew members were injured in the incident.

Everyone at Travel Radar sends their condolences to the family and friends of the individual who sadly lost their life in the incident.

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Rachel Dunster
Rachel Dunster
Aviation Reporter
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