A flight attendant for China Eastern Airlines fell out of an airplane door and onto the tarmac at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport on Monday. She suffered several fractures and was immediately taken to the hospital.
The airport released a statement on Weibo confirming the fall. According to the statement, the flight attendant “accidentally fell on the tarmac from the left rear cabin door when the plane was ready for take-off.”
She fell nearly nine feet from the door of the Boeing 737-800 before being discovered by crew on the tarmac.
Before takeoff, cabin crews are required to walk through the aircraft and ensure that all doors are closed. Local reports suggest that the flight attendant was closing the door by herself, a job which is normally performed by two people.
According to a report from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, “The aircraft door closing is a team effort between the Flight Attendant and the Airport Customer Service Agent, however the Flight Attendant may elect to close the aircraft door without assistance from the Agent.”
The flight took off about 90 minutes after its scheduled departure.
The airline is still investigating the incident.