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Person Found Dead, Possibly Struck By Plane At Austin Airport

Southwest Airlines planes prepare to depart from Austin Airport on Feb. 21, 2019.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Southwest Airlines planes prepare to depart from Austin Airport on Feb. 21, 2019.

A team of investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration was sent to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport after a man was found dead on a runway, possibly struck by a plane. 

A Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas Love Field had just landed in Austin shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday when the pilot noticed someone on the runway, according to a FAA statement.

“We investigated the incident. A member of our airport operations team did find a victim on the runway, and alerted Travis County EMS, who responded to the scene and pronounced the individual deceased,” Bryce Dubee, a spokesman for the Austin Department of Aviation, said.

The man was not a badged employee at the airport and would not have had access to the runway, Dubee said.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said the pilot manuevered to avoid the man. None of the onboard crew or passengers were injured. 

"Southwest is fully cooperating with local law enforcement and FAA as they investigate this event," the statement read. "Our Southwest Hearts extend to the individual involved, and we sincerely thank our crew for their professionalism and swift response."

Investigators, including from the Austin Police Department, will determine whether the plane hit the person. 

This story has been updated. 

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Samuel King covers transportation and mobility for KUT News.