An American Airlines ground crew team member was reportedly killed in a tragic accident at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama on Saturday.
The accident happened around 3 p.m. near a parked Embraer E175 scheduled to run American Airlines flight 3408, operated by the company’s regional carrier Envoy Air. The airplane was slated to fly to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, but the flight was canceled following the accident.
“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” said Executive Director of Montgomery Regional Airport Wade A. Davis. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
The specifics of the incident and how it unfolded are being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Simple Flying reported on some of the alleged details of the accident, claiming that a baggage handler who was an employee of Piedmont Airlines — a subsidiary of American Airlines — was killed after being sucked into the engine of the parked Embraer E175.
NTSB said the plane had its parking brake set. When a jet engine is operating, the air being sucked into the intake creates a low air pressure area that can pull nearby people into the rotating blades, according to the New York Post.
“[We are] devastated by the accident involving a team member. 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,” American Airlines said in a statement.
“We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time,” the statement added.
The deceased airline worker has yet to be identified publicly by authorities.
Additionally, a preliminary report by the NTSB is expected within a few weeks, according to Today.