The San Antonio International Airport employee who was fatally “ingested” by a jetliner engine is believed to have died by suicide, according to The Guardian.
A source told The Guardian that the 27-year-old worker, David Renner, “intentionally stepped in front of the live engine” after Delta Flight 1111 landed at the Texas airport and taxied to the gate on Friday.
“There were no operational safety issues with either the plane or the airport,” the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement to The Guardian.
The news of the apparent suicide contradicts previous reports that the incident was an accident, comparing it to a seemingly similar incident at an airport in Alabama in December. The Alabama incident was a result of a safety breach and led to an American Airlines worker being killed after being “ingested into the engine” of the plane, news outlet Advance Local reported.
Unifi Aviation, which employed Renner, said that there has been counseling available for employees.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased, and we remain focused on supporting our employees on the ground and ensuring they are being taken care of during this time,” Unifi added. “From our initial investigation, this incident was unrelated to Unifi’s operational processes, safety procedures and policies.”
The San Antonio airport and Delta Air Lines did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Monday.
On Sunday, however, the San Antonio airport told HuffPost that it was “deeply saddened” by Renner’s death.
Delta also sent HuffPost a statement on Sunday: “We are heartbroken and grieving the loss of an aviation family member’s life in San Antonio. Our hearts and full support are with their family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”