Airport worker crushed to death in baggage loading accident

Contractor dies after being pinned against United Airlines plane by baggage loading vehicle

Chris Baynes
Monday 30 September 2019 12:14
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A contractor was killed while loading baggage onto a United Airlines flight
A contractor was killed while loading baggage onto a United Airlines flight

A worker has been crushed to death in an accident at an airport in the US state of Georgia.

The contractor died after being pinned against a plane by a baggage loading vehicle at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest in the world.

He was taken to hospital, where he died.

The man, who has not yet been named, worked for airport services company G2 Secure Staff, which said it was “devastated” by his death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into the accident.

The victim was guiding the baggage loading vehicle towards a United Airlines plane when it struck it and trapped him against the aircraft on Wednesday, according to local television station WSB-TV.

Fox 5 News reported the vehicle lifted the worker up and crushed him against the jet as it was being raised towards the plane's cargo hold to unload luggage.

Daniel Norman, chief executive of G2, said: “There are no words to express the depth of sadness we feel as we mourn the passing of a valued team member at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

“Our hearts go out to his family and our primary focus at this time is to support them and his Atlanta-based colleagues."

United Airlines said in a statement: "The entire United family extends our thoughts to this G2 Secure Staff employee and his family. We are reviewing the details of the incident to better understand what happened."

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There are “significant” concerns in the industry about the safety of aircraft loading ramps, according to the American Association of Airport Executives.

“As a result of [the] extreme level of aircraft activity, complexity of work tasks, and the equipment used in servicing aircraft, ramp operations and workers can face a variety of safety concerns and hazards on ramps that, in most cases, are unregulated,” the organisation says on its website.

A Hartsfield-Jackson airport spokesperson said: “While incidents like what took this place this week are rare, we are committed to working with all our airline partners and their contractors to make sure that corrective actions are taken to prevent something like this from happening again.”

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