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The grounds worker was seriously injured at Philadelphia International Airport last week.

Cailey Rizzo
August 30, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating an incident that left a 60-year-old grounds worker seriously injured at Philadelphia International Airport last week.

An Aer Lingus flight was pushing back from its gate on the evening of August 24 when a worker was caught “under an airplane moving tug and wheel of the plane,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The injured man — who was checked into a local hospital in critical condition — was employed by a different ground handling company, Dubai-based Dnata. According to local reports, the grounds crew was handling the plane during the pushback.

Details about the incident are still vague. Dnata did not explain what sort of work the man was doing when he was injured nor how the accident occurred. “A formal investigation is currently being undertaken to determine the facts and we will continue to work with the relevant authorities,” a Dnata spokesperson said in a statement.

While being run over by a plane is incredibly uncommon, it is not unheard of for grounds crew. Over a 22-year study, the NTSB recorded 80 accidents, involving 98 workers and 21 fatalities. Two-thirds of those accidents took place while the plane was departing the gate.

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