UTAH- Authorities in Utah are conducting an investigation into the death of an individual who entered the engine of a Delta Air Lines (DL) Airbus A220 aircraft while it was on the ground at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) late Monday.
According to the airport, the 30-year-old man accessed the secure ramp area through a terminal emergency exit. He then proceeded to the south end of the airport’s west runway, where deicing operations were taking place, and entered an aircraft engine that was not in operation, reported CNN.
Passenger Dies Inside Delta Engine
Upon discovery, emergency responders found the man unconscious and were unable to revive him. The airport reported that it remains unclear what injuries led to the man’s death.
The individual has been identified as Kyler Efinger, a resident of Park City, Utah, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department. Efinger had a boarding pass for a flight to Denver (DEN), as stated by the department.
Delta reports that Flight DL2348, operated by an Airbus A220 scheduled for departure to San Francisco (SFO), returned to the gate, and all 95 passengers disembarked. Subsequently, the flight was canceled.
Around 10 p.m., police responded to the airport following a 911 call from a store manager inside the terminal, reporting a disturbance involving a passenger. The nature of the disturbance is currently under investigation.
The passenger in question, Efinger, accessed one of the terminal’s emergency exit doors, proceeding onto the airport’s outdoor ramp area, according to police.
During the search, a pilot reported sighting the individual. Within minutes, officers discovered personal items, including clothes and shoes, on one of the runways.
Approximately 10 minutes into the search, dispatchers informed the police that the man was located at one of the airport’s plane de-icing pads. He went under an aircraft and accessed the engine. Subsequently, police requested air traffic controllers to instruct the pilot to shut down the aircraft’s engines.
Upon the officers’ arrival at the aircraft, they discovered Efinger unconscious and “partially inside” one of the wing-mounted engines of the commercial plane, which was still in rotation. The specific stage of engine operation is currently under investigation, as mentioned by the police.
“SLCPD officers and Airport Operations extracted the man from the engine’s intake cowling, secured the scene, initiated lifesaving efforts, and called for emergency medical services,” the release stated. These efforts involved administering CPR and naloxone.
Regrettably, Efinger passed away at the scene, as confirmed by the police. An autopsy will be conducted to ascertain the cause and manner of his death, and medical examiners may conduct a toxicology report, according to the department.
Under Investigation by Police, FAA, and NTSB
The airport police emphasized that the incident did not have an impact on other operations at the airport.
The Salt Lake City police, along with the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and Transportation Security Administration, are all conducting investigations into the incident.
While the National Transportation Safety Board is in the process of “gathering information,” it has indicated that the local police are overseeing the investigation.
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