An individual that was on the runway 17R of Austin International Airport was struck and killed this evening, airport authorities reported. There are unconfirmed reports that Southwest flight WN1391 may have been the one that struck on the individual upon landing. Local authorities are investigating the accident.
Flight WN1392 reported a person on the runway
Southwest flight WN1392 departed from Dallas, Texas before landing in Austin. According to Flightradar24.com, the pilots of the aircraft reported that there “might have been a person on the runway”.
Flightradar24.com also reported that it is not known if the Southwest Boeing 737 struck the person or if that flight was just the first airplane to spot the person. Currently, the airport authorities have closed the runway 17R/35L. The next flight scheduled to arrive, a Delta Air Lines operation from Minneapolis, made a go-around. Flight DL819 then landed successfully.
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport “is aware of an individual that was struck and killed on runway 17R by a landing aircraft earlier this evening. The incident is currently under investigation and we will provide more information as it becomes available.”
AUS is aware of an individual that was struck and killed on runway 17R by a landing aircraft earlier this evening. The incident is currently under investigation and we will provide more information as it becomes available.
— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (@AUStinAirport) May 8, 2020
Although the investigation is ongoing, pictures have emerged online that show Southwest’s 737 with a damaged engine.
— Breaking Aviation News (@breakingavnews) May 8, 2020
Southwest Airlines published a statement regarding the incident, shared on the Aviation Herald website. It read,
“Southwest flight #1392 arrived safely after being cleared to land on runway 17R at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) this evening. The Southwest aircraft maneuvered to avoid an individual who appeared on runway 17R shortly after touchdown. The aircraft quickly came to a safe stop, and the Pilots reported the event to local air traffic controllers.
“After receiving further instructions from controllers, the aircraft taxied to the gate where all Customers and the Crew deplaned the aircraft safely with no reports of onboard injuries. Tonight’s flight landed at 8:12 p.m. CDT, after arriving from Dallas Love Field (DAL).
“Southwest is fully cooperating with local law enforcement and FAA as they investigate this event. Our Southwest Hearts extend to the individual involved, and we sincerely thank our Crew for their professionalism and swift response.”
Meanwhile, the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Service informed on Twitter that the individual struck by an aircraft is an adult patient. It added that no further information is available at the time being.
Airport spokesman, Bryce Dubee, said that officials do not believe that the individual struck was supposed to be on the runway at the time. Still, authorities are trying to confirm this theory, as reported by USA Today.
This type of accidents are uncommon
A runway runover is not something that happens every day. Back in 2014, a Georgia man was killed when a 1972 Piper Cherokee struck him on a Florida beach. His daughter was critically injured as well, as reported at the time by CNN.
The pilot of the Piper Cherokee radioed that was unable to make it back to the airport. He then proceeded to land on Caspersen Beach. While landing, the plane hit and killed Ommy Irizarry, 36, and his daughter, Oceana, 9. Both were walking along the beach at the moment of the accident.
This was a big tragedy. Nevertheless, it didn’t occur at an airport as the recent accident in Austin, Texas. To find a similar case we have to go to Russia and India, in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Aeroflot and Kuwait Airways had similar accidents
Back in 2018, an Aeroflot Boeing 737 plane ran over a 25-year-old man at Mosco’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. The incident happened in November.
The victim was on a stopover to Armenia when he was struck by the airplane. According to the information at the time, the man had an altercation onboard his earlier flight. When he arrived in Moscow, the police escorted him. Instead of boarding on his next flight, he walked away and found his way to the runway.
Finally, in 2019, a citizen in Kerala, India was killed when he was caught under the wheels of an empty Boeing that was being towed at the airport.
What do you think of the Austin airport accident? Let us know in the comments.