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- A ground worker at an Alabama airport died last month after they were sucked into a jet engine.
- The employee was warned multiple times not to go near the engine, federal officials said.
- The ground crew was told the engines would remain running for two minutes, investigators said.
An airport worker who died after being sucked into a jet engine last month was warned not to go near it, federal investigators said.
The airport employee, who worked at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, died on December 31 after they ventured too close to the engine of an American Eagle jet that had just arrived from Dallas, Texas.
The employee was not named in the preliminary report, which was published by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Monday.
The flight was operated by Envoy Air, an affiliate of American Airlines, and was carrying 63 passengers and crew, the report said.
After parking the plane at the gate, the pilots decided to leave the engines running for a two-minute cool-down period, investigators said in the report.
They did this because an auxiliary power unit on board wasn’t working, and they needed the engines to stay on until the plane could be linked to ground power, the report said.
The pilots alerted airport workers about leaving the engines on. Separately, the crew had also been briefed two times before the plane’s arrival that it shouldn’t be approached until the engines were shut down, the report said.
Additionally, rotating beacons on the plane were illuminated to warn that engines were still running, it said.
The employee who died was also warned by a co-worker who, at one point, saw them get nearly knocked over by the exhaust from the jet and told them to stay back, the report said.
However, moments later the employee walked in front of one of the engines and was pulled in. The co-worker “heard a ‘bang'” before the engine shut down, the report said. The pilots described feeling the plane “shake violently.”
The report also noted that the American Eagle manual states ground crew should not go within 15 feet of the front of an engine until its blades stop spinning.
American Eagle and Montgomery Regional Airport Alabama did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.