The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are now investigating.
The victim, whose name has not yet been released to the public, worked for Piedmont Airlines. Piedmont is a subsidiary of American Airlines, operating at more than 80 airports nationwide.
An NTSB representative tells NPR the incident involved a parked Embraer 170 aircraft – a medium-sized jet that holds about 70 passengers. The plane flew from American Airlines’ hub Dallas Fort Worth Airport.
The Plane’s Jet Running At The Time Of Incident
People familiar with the matter told Reuters the engine was running at the time of the incident, which happened around 3 p.m.
The airport grounded several flights following the tragedy for roughly five hours.
“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of the AA/Piedmont Airlines,” says Wade A. Davis, the airport’s executive director. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
Wade adds, “We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time.”
This marks another tragedy for ground employees in 2022. Earlier this year, a 26-year-old airport baggage handler died after her hair was caught in machinery.
The victim, Jermani Thompson, reportedly picked up a shift at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY).
As we previously reported, Thompson’s hair got tangled in a belt loader while removing baggage from a Frontier Airlines flight.
According to the New York Post, these incidents are extremely rare.
As for the recent incident at Montgomery Airport, when a jet engine is running, air getting sucked into the intake can cause a low air pressure which could pull people nearby into the rotating blades, the New York Post reports.
These incidents, however, are extremely rare.
This story is developing.