Death of airline groundworker triggers federal investigation

A groundworker who died in a Dec. 31 industrial accident at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama “was ingested into the engine” of an American Eagle Embraer E170 regional jet, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB said that its preliminary investigative report on the accident is expected within three weeks.

The victim, whose name has not been released, was a ground crew employee of Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines-owned regional carrier. The aircraft was operated by another American subsidiary, Envoy Air. The plane had just completed a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth, according to the NTSB. 

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The incident caused a daylong closure of Montgomery Regional Airport. Flights resumed on Sunday night. 

“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of a team member of AA/Piedmont Airlines,” Wade Davis, the airport’s executive director, said on Saturday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

American said that it is “devastated” by the accident. 

“We are focused on ensuring that all involved have the support they need during this difficult time,” the airline said. 

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