Tragic Amsterdam airport worker 'deliberately climbed into plane's engine'

KLM planes at Schiphol Airport
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

A man who tragically died at a major international airport is believed to have intentionally climbed into the plane's engine, police have revealed.

The airport worker was killed in a horror incident at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam yesterday afternoon. The individual, a male employee, is said to have climbed into the jet engine of a KLM Cityhopper Embraer E190, which was preparing to depart from the airport.

Witnesses said there was a "hellish noise" as the person was sucked into the jet turbine. Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, one person said: "Many people saw it happen."

The Mirror reports that the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee force, who are running the investigation, said: "The deceased man has been identified as an employee of a company operating at the airport. The investigation has revealed that he intentionally climbed into the engine, indicating this is a case of suicide. Out of respect for the victim and their loved ones, no further statements will be made."

The plane, which can carry up to 104 passengers, was scheduled to take off for Billund in Denmark at 2.25pm. The crew had just finished delivering safety instructions for passengers onboard, but over 80 people were then removed from the plane and interviewed by military police following the tragedy.

Some of the passengers, who watched the moment unfold, were deemed "important witnesses", Dutch outlet AD said. A police spokesperson told the outlet: "They may be able to help us with the investigation." Psychological support was offered to those possibly traumatised by what they had witnessed.

The tragic incident reportedly had a "major impact" on staff. A replacement flight for the Danish city took off last night at around 9.30pm. The plane was flown by a different crew.

In a statement, KLM said: "We are currently taking care of the passengers and employees who witnessed the incident at Schiphol. The circumstances are currently under investigation".

Pilots union VNV said: "Our first concern and thoughts go out to those involved and their relatives. We offer our cooperation and expertise in the investigation into the exact cause."

Airline KLM said in an earlier statement yesterday: "Today there was a horrible incident at Schiphol in which a person ended up in a running aircraft engine. Sadly the person has died. We receive passengers and employees who have seen this at Schiphol. The circumstances are currently being investigated. For further information - as soon as available - we refer to the Royal Military Police."

On the day of the incident, a statement released by Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) airport read: “Today there was a horrible incident where a person ended up in an airplane engine. Our thoughts go out to the relatives and we care for the passengers and colleagues who witnessed this. The Royal Military Police is currently conducting an investigation.

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