A ground worker at the San Antonio International Airport died after being "ingested" by a plane engine this past Friday night (6/23/2023). The worker has not yet been identified, and the horrific tragedy caused many passengers to be rescheduled.

The plane was a Delta Air Lines Airbus A319, although the ground crew was subcontracted through Unifi Aviation. Unifi denies the accident was caused by their operational process/ safety protocols.

Oddly, this is the second such incident to happen in recent history. You may recall back in January that a worker was killed instantly after being sucked into a plane engine in Montgomery, Alabama. After an investigation, it was found that the deceased, Courtney Edwards (34) and a mother of three, had failed to see that, "the engines were still activated and a safety light was still illuminated," and had also failed to hear or heed warnings from others to stay away from the "ingestion zone".

So, is this a common thing? 

Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash
Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

According to NPR, it's not, or at least it didn't used to be. As of 2008, there were only 5 fatalities from this type of accident in a span of 40 years. However, this seems like the type of accident that should never happen. This leads me to wonder- is this an airline problem, or a worker compliance problem? Are people being properly trained? If so, are they forgetting that training or simply ignoring it? In the case of Courtney Edwards, it appears that she made the tragic mistake that ended her life. Time will tell what happened in San Antonio.

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