Mum-of-three 'violently' sucked into plane engine as airline hit with fine

A regional carrier of American Airlines has been slapped with a £12,000 fine after a worker was “violently” sucked into a plane engine on New Year’s Eve.

Courtney Edwards, 34, tragically died while working as a ground agent for Piedmont Airlines at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, USA.

The National Transportation Safety Board ( NTSB) said she was “ingested into the engine” while positioned “on the ramp where American Airlines Flight 3408, an Embraer E175, was parked”.

READ MORE: Mum sucked into plane engine after she’s ‘pulled off her feet’ in grisly death

Investigators said the ground crew at the airport held two safety briefings 10 minutes before the plane had arrived at the gate from Dallas-Fort Worth.

It was reported that workers were urged not to approach the aircraft until the engine and a beacon light were switched off on December 31.



Piedmont Airlines have been fined
Piedmont Airlines has been fined

But after the flight had landed, the pilot was given a warning that the front cargo door was being opened while he was shutting down the right engine.

According to the NTSB report, Edwards was caught in surveillance footage as she walked towards the plane’s rear with an orange safety cone in her hands.

In the clip, the mum-of-three disappeared from the shot and a short time later the incident took place.

A co-pilot said the “aeroplane shook violently followed by the immediate automatic shutdown”.



Courtney is a mother-of-three
Courtney was a mother-of-three

Now, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration ( OSHA ) has levied a fine of $15,625 ( £12,188.46 ) against Piedmont Airlines and ruled it was responsible for a safety breach.

Following the tragedy, a fundraiser was launched in aid of the worker’s three children, which has amassed more than $114,000 ( £88,927.02).

The GoFundMe page read: “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.

“Please know that this tragedy has and will affect her mother, family, friends and kids for years to come.”



The plane went into an 'automatic shutdown'
The plane went into an ‘automatic shutdown’

American Airlines released an initial statement after the incident.

“We are devastated by the accident involving a team member of Piedmont Airlines, an American Airlines regional carrier, at Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM),” it read.

“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.”

The Communication Workers of America union highlighted that the OSHA found the airline had a “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”.

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Article source: https://airlines.einnews.com/article/640155231/XILEdjTM_aD4fw28?ref=rss&ecode=vaZAu9rk30b8KC5H

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