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Death of worker "ingested" into plane engine at San Antonio airport deemed suicide

An airport worker died Friday after he was "ingested" into the engine of a Delta plane at San Antonio International Airport, the National Transportation Safety Board said. 

Delta Flight 1111 had arrived at the airport and was taxiing to the gate on one engine around 10:25 p.m. when the deadly incident happened, officials said. The plane, an Airbus A319, had just arrived from Los Angeles International Airport. 

His death was deemed a suicide, the Bexar County Coroner's Office confirmed Monday. The NTSB will no longer be investigating the event, the agency confirmed. 

"There were no operational safety issues with either the airplane or the airport," an NTSB spokesperson said.

The worker was employed by Unifi, a company that Delta contracts with to support ground-handling operations. The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that the victim was an airport ramp worker. 

"We are heartbroken and grieving the loss of an aviation family member's life in San Antonio," a Delta spokesperson said. "Our hearts and full support are with their family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time."

Unifi said that based on their own preliminary investigation, the incident did not appear to be related to company operational processes, safety procedures or policies.

This is the second type of this incident in six months. A 34-year-old ground crew worker was killed after being "ingested" into a plane engine at the Montgomery, Alabama, airport at the end of last year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined that the deadly incident could have been avoided if safety procedures were followed. 

"Proper training and enforcement of safety procedures could have prevented this tragedy," OSHA Area Director Jose A. Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama said about the Dec. 31, 2022 incident. "This incident is a tragic reminder that safety measures must be in place even for a routine assignment."

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, you can reach the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988. You can also chat with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline here.

For more information about mental health care resources and support, The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email

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