A man who breached security at Salt Lake City International Airport on New Year’s Day was found dead inside the engine of a Delta plane awaiting takeoff with 100 people onboard.
The alarm over the unidentified 30-year-old man was raised when the manager of an airport store reported an unspecified disturbance just before 10 p.m., police said.
Before airport police could reach him, the same man then somehow got through an emergency exit door and ran out onto the airfield, Salt Lake City police said.
At 10:10 p.m. — just over 15 minutes after he got through security — he was found unconscious inside one of the engines on a Delta Airbus A220-100 being de-iced before flying to San Francisco, officials also said.
He had run up to the plane and “crawled into an aircraft engine that was not running,” the airport said.
First responders pulled him out of the engine intake cowling, which directs air to the engine fan section, and attempted life-saving measures. However, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“It is unclear at this time what injuries caused the man’s death,” the airport said, stressing that the engine was not running at the time. The dead man was not immediately identified.
There were two pilots, three flight attendants and 95 passengers aboard Delta Flight 2348 at the time, the airline said. The plane returned to the gate and all the passengers were rebooked on other flights.
“As nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers and people, Delta is fully cooperating with all aviation authority and law enforcement investigations,” an airline spokesperson told The Post Tuesday.
Police along with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Security Administration are investigating the security violation and fatality.