Cousins! American Airlines has been identified as being at fault for a tragic accident that claimed the life of a ground crew worker as she was violently sucked into the engine of an aircraft!
According to reports from the New York Post, a fine of $15,625 was issued by Federal safety regulators for the death of Courtney Edwards, an employee at the Alabama airport of Piedmont Airlines. Documents show that the airlines is a regional subsidiary of American Airlines and was levied by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration on grounds of a safety breach.
Following an investigation from the National Transportation Safety Board, it was concluded that Courtney had been tragically “ingested into the engine” while “on the ramp at Montgomery Regional Airport on December 31st, 2022 where American Airlines Flight 3408, an Embraer E175, was parked.”
NTSB discovered employees were advised not to approach the aircraft until the engine was shut off and an engine light was turned off; reports the Dallas Morning News.
It has been stated that the ground crew at the Montgomery airport had conducted two safety briefings 10 minutes before the plane arrived at the gate. The plane is said to have ferried passengers to and from Dallas-Fort Worth.
As the flight pulled into Montgomery, the pilot is said to have received an alert that the front cargo door was being opened. This occurred just as he started to shut down the plane’s engine; reads court documents obtained by the outlet.
Surveillance footage is said to have shown Courtney walking toward the aircraft’s rear while holding an orange safety cone.
The video then shows the 34-year-old disappear from the camera view. She is said to have been sucked into the plane’s engine shortly after that. A co-pilot of the flight says that the plane shook violently and then immediately shut down.
A GoFundMe account was created to help with Courtney’s funeral arrangements and to financially assist her three children. With an initial goal of $25,000 they have raised $122,026 at this time.
“Courtney was a Ground Handling agent for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a loving mother of 3 kids and a wonderful daughter to her beloved mother, Natalie English of Montgomery, Alabama,” according to the GoFundMe page.
“Please know that this tragedy has and will affect her mother, family, friends, and kids for years to come.”
Following the tragic incident, American Airlines issued a statement. “We are devastated by the accident involving a team member of Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines regional carrier, at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM). “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,” said the company.
The Communication Workers of America, also released a statement declaring that OSHA found the airline at fault for “lack of effective training, clear and unambiguous communication on the ramp, and clear instructions from supervisors as to when it is safe to approach an aircraft.”