Amsterdam: Passenger’s Unexpected Jet Engine Adventure Ends Tragically


Witnesses were offered counselling after a “horrible” death at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Wednesday afternoon, following an incident where a person “walked into the engine” of a passenger jet.

Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) flight KL1341 from Amsterdam to Billund, Denmark was being pushed back from the stand to head to the runway when the person entered the engine. The death was reportedly witnessed by many people, including passengers and crew, who have been offered counselling.

The passengers were removed from the flight and questioned by police as they attempt to understand what happened and why. All passengers later flew on a replacement flight six hours later, but with a different crew as the original pilots had suffered “a major impact” psychologically and were unfit to fly, Dutch newspaper AD reports.

Schiphol airport said in a statement: “There was a horrible incident today in which a person ended up in an aircraft engine… Our thoughts go out to the relatives and we care for the passengers and colleagues who saw this”.

AD notes early rumors that the deceased had been a trainee member of ground crew, who bent down to pick up an object from the floor, and so was sucked into the engine. The paper cites sources who say this is an incorrect rumor, and that their information states the deceased was not an airport employee, and that they “walked into the engine”.

De Telegraaf cites a witness who said there was a “hellish noise” and lots of smoke in the moments after the person entered the running jet engine.

Such accidents are rare — thanks to long-developed safety protocols — but are not unknown. Reports have documented similar incidents, such as the accidental death of a ground crew worker at Montgomery Regional Airport, Alabama, in 2022. 34-year-old Courtney Edwards was ingested by an American Airlines-Piedmont Airlines flight engine despite having been told not to approach the aircraft while its engines were still running just moments before.

The airline was found to have not sufficiently enforced its safety rules on Edwards and was fined $15,000.

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