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A woman has filed a lawsuit against an aviation company after witnessing a man being ‘ingested’ into the engine of an airplane at the San Antonio International Airport, NBC News has reported.
Mackenzie Hill, a resident of San Antonio, Texas, was returning home from Los Angeles on June 23, when she witnessed a ground crew worker being caught and “ingested” into a Delta Air Lines plane engine at the San Antonio International Airport.
In a lawsuit, Hill said that as the plane was taxiing to the gate, she saw a man getting close to the plane and suddenly sucked into the engine. She alleged that she witnessed his body getting torn by the plane’s turbine, reported NBC News.
Hill said that she quickly shut the window and tried to collect herself, adding that she later even offered to stay behind and provide a statement, which the flight crew refused. She further said that when the incident took place, flight attendants asked all passengers to shut their windows and that the plane remained parked for 15 minutes before passengers were allowed to leave, said NBC News.
The petitioner said that the incident left her traumatized and she has been experiencing nightmares and flashbacks, which have affected her mental health, reported NBC News. It was also reported that the deceased, identified as David Renner, was struggling with mental health problems and substance abuse. NBC News, quoting Hill’s petition, also reported that Renner had given a suicide note to his supervisor before his death and had made prior mental health outbursts online.
‘Death by suicide’
An employee at the Bexar County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to USA TODAY on June 27 that the office determined that the 27-year-old man died by suicide, noting that cause of death was due to blunt and sharp force injuries.
Hill is suing Unifi Aviation LLC, the largest ground handling and aviation services company in North America, for causing her “mental anguish, both past and future; physical impairment in the past; and loss of wage-earning capacity, both future and past.” In her lawsuit, Hill also claimed “reasonable and necessary medical expenses, both past and future,” as well as “attorney fees for DTPA claims.”
In an email to USA TODAY, Unifi Aviation said: “Although Unifi Aviation does not typically comment on pending litigation, we believe the claims asserted by Ms. Hill do not have any merit and intend to zealously defend ourselves.”
“We continue to keep David Renner’s family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers,” they wrote.
Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board, in a statement provided to USA TODAY, said that it no longer plans to investigate the man’s death in light of the ruling from the medical examiner. The safety board had previously indicated its intent to continue working with Texas authorities to gather information.
“The NTSB will not be opening an investigation into this event,” according to the statement, which the agency provided to USA TODAY. “There were no operational safety issues with either the airplane or the airport.”
Source: USA Today