AUSTIN, Texas - Operations at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport have resumed but the investigation continues after a person was struck and killed on a runway.
The incident happened on May 7 and involved Southwest Airlines flight 1392. The flight was arriving from Dallas at just after 8 p.m. when the crew reported seeing a person visible on runway 17 shortly after touchdown.
Austin-Travis County EMS responded to the incident and pronounced the person dead on the scene.
The person who was killed has not been identified but the Austin Police Department says the person was an adult male and he was pronounced dead at 8:41 p.m.
It's not clear at this time if the person hit by the plane was a ground crew member, a person employed by an airline carrier, or a pedestrian. Officials say there were no reports of any injuries onboard the aircraft and that all passengers and crew were able to get off the plane safely.
Ryan Kelley was on board the aircraft when it made impact. “Right before we land, the plane takes off to the side. It starts squealing, the tires, it starts swaying side to side down the runway, with the brakes on just screeching to a halt,” said Kelley.
“The lady next to me, her purse was all the way in the front of the plane. Everybody’s phones were scattered around. Everybody was just in shock and looking at each other like, what just happened?” Kelley said.
Stunned and confused by what just happened, Kelley started looking for clues. That’s when he noticed a large dent in the engine outside his window.
“We just crashed. I mean, we crashed into something. I don’t know, was it a bird? We didn’t know, but that plane crashed when it landed. I mean, clearly it hit something,” said Kelley.
Kelley said he was surprised yet grateful that no one on board was injured. “The pilot’s a hero. There it is. I mean, he landed us all safe and that’s that. I mean, he really is. Put us all down on the ground and we all made it home safe,” Kelley said.
Southwest released a statement that says in part, "Southwest is fully cooperating with local law enforcement and FAA as those agencies investigate the event. We sincerely thank our Crew for their professionalism and swift response."
The full statement from Southwest is as follows:
Southwest flight #1392 arrived safely this evening at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) after being cleared to land on runway 17R. The Southwest aircraft maneuvered to avoid an individual who became visible 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 a gate where all Customers and 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 those agencies investigate the event. We sincerely thank our Crew for their professionalism and swift response.
ABIA also released a statement.
The Austin Police Department says more information will be released as it becomes available.