A man has died in an incident involving a Southwest Airlines aircraft landing at Austin-Bergstrom international airport.
The incident occurred around 20:12 local time when the Boeing 737, operating flight 1392, landed at Runway 17R, says the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
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
“According to preliminary information, the pilot … reported seeing a person on Runway 17-Right, shortly after the Boeing 737 touched down,” the FAA adds.
Southwest says the aircraft, which was carrying 54 passengers and five crew memebrs, “maneuvered to avoid an individual who became visible on [the runway] 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 a gate where all customers and crew deplaned the aircraft safely with no reports of onboard injuries,” the carrier adds.
Emergency services say they responded to the incident at around 20:20, and the man was declared dead at the scene. Airport authorities say the man was an “unauthorised individual”, but no further details about the man’s identity have since been released.
The FAA has since launched investigations into the incident together with local authorities to determine “whether the aircraft struck the victim”.
According to tracking service FlightRadar24, the aircraft in question is a 737-700 bearing the registration N401WN.
Cirium fleets data shows Southwest took delivery of the aircraft in 2001.
Story updated with Southwest Airlines’ statement.