A ground crew employee in Alabama has died after walking into the engine of a plane, authorities said.

Embraer 175 car with undercarriage.aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

  • An airline employee was “swallowed” by a plane’s engine on Saturday, the NTSB said, according to CBS.

  • American Airlines has confirmed that one of its employees has died following an accident at Montgomery Regional Airport.

  • The employee died when the plane was parked and one of the engines started, Reuters reported.

An airline ground crew member died Saturday in Alabama after “falling into the engine” of the plane, the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, said, CBS reported.

The NTSB told CBS on Sunday that the worker “swallowed” the plane’s engine while the plane was parked at the gate. The agency said it has launched an investigation into the crash, CBS reports.

Montgomery Regional Airport said Saturday that the fatal industrial accident occurred around 3 p.m., and that the worker was employed by Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group.

“We are saddened to hear of the tragic loss of an AA/Piedmont Airlines team member,” said airport CEO Wade A. Davis. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time.”

American Airlines confirmed the death of the Piedmont employee in a statement to Insider, saying it was “devastated by the crash.”

“We are focused on ensuring that everyone involved has the support they need during this difficult time,” the statement said.

The person died while one of the plane’s engines was running, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the results of the preliminary investigation.

As Reuters reports, the incident involved American Airlines Flight 3408 Embraer E175 jet when it arrived from Dallas.

The NTSB and Piedmont Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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