Investigators found a defective metal bracket on the jet bridge that collapsed and injured six people at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, officials said Sunday. All six people injured in the collapse were released from the hospital early Sunday.
Metal brackets will be replaced on the jet bridge that collapsed Saturday and on five other jet bridges made by the same manufacturer, the Maryland Department of Transportation said in a statement.
The department said 33 jet bridges made by the manufacturer were inspected and deemed safe to use. The rest of the airport's jet bridges also will be inspected.
Southwest Airlines said the jet bridge failed while paramedics were helping a passenger with a medical problem off Flight 822 after it arrived from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Four medical responders, two Southwest employees and the passenger were on the jetway when it fell to ground level, according to the initial report to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Southwest said the jet bridge, which connects the plane to the terminal, failed while medics were helping the passenger outside the aircraft. Remaining passengers safely exited the plane using air stairs, the airline said.
"It was very scary that it collapsed with people on it and they took a big spill onto the concrete," passenger Michelle Yerman told CBS Baltimore.
The state transportation department said airport operations will not be affected by the work on the six jet bridges that will be taken out of service so the brackets can be replaced.
"Our passengers' safety is the top priority and BWI Marshall Airport has moved quickly to address this issue," state Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said in a statement.
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