An individual was struck and killed by a landing airplane at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Thursday night, according to airport officials. In a statement to NBC News, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that “According to preliminary information, the pilot of Southwest Airlines Flight 1392 reported seeing a person on Runway 17-Right, shortly after the Boeing 737 touched down at 8:12 p.m. Central Time on Thursday,”
A driver of an Airport Operations vehicle found the victim on the runway and reported it. The Austin-Travis County EMS confirmed that an adult patient was deceased on scene.
According to CBS Austin, a watch commander for the Austin Police Department said that the person killed by the aircraft was not wearing an airport uniform and did not have an ID badge, but that has not yet been publicly confirmed. An investigation is currently being led by the police department.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport posted an update on their Twitter early Friday morning. The message reads:
The crime scene has been cleared and maintenance is preparing the runway to reopen. Operations will resume as normal and AUS will continue to work closely with APD on the ongoing investigation. No additional available information is available at this time.
This story is still developing.
Southwest Airlines Released a Statement After the Incident
After the incident occurred on Thursday night, Southwest Airlines issued a statement. It has been shared by local reporter Bryce Newberry:
In the statement, the airline said that Southwest flight #1392 from Dallas Love Field was cleared to land on runway 17R. Shortly after the aircraft touched down, an individual became visible on the runway, and the pilots maneuvered the plane to try and avoid them.
Once the plane came to a stop, the pilots informed traffic control. There were no reports of onboard injuries. The airline is cooperating with local law enforcement and the FAA.
According to Kris Van Cleave of CBS News, there were 53 passengers and 5 crew members on board the 737. An FAA source told Van Cleave that this is “not the first time a plane has hit a person, but I couldn’t say when the last one happened.”
An Audio Clip Has Been Shared of the Pilots Informing Airport Controllers of the Person on the Runway
An audio clip of the pilot informing the airport controllers of the person on the runway was shared by James Packard from Newsy:
At the start of the clip, the pilot can be heard saying that there “might be a person on the runway.” When the pilot was asked where he saw the individual, he answered, “They’re behind us now.” He confirmed that he saw the individual just as the plane touched down.