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Safety regulators probe airport worker’s death

Baggage handlers

North Carolina workplace safety regulators have launched an investigation into the death of a worker at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The worker was operating a tug transporting baggage when the tug flipped and pinned him underneath at 10:17 p.m. Sunday, according to preliminary information received by the North Carolina Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Division.

The division has opened an investigation into the incident, according to a department spokeswoman.

“Fatality investigations typically take three to four months to complete, but depending on the complexity of the case, it could take longer,” the spokeswoman noted via email.

The OSH Division has up to six months to complete its investigation before the statute of limitations kicks in, the spokeswoman said.

The department checked the past three years and found no work-related fatality investigations were conducted at the airport, according to the spokeswoman.

“A single ramp vehicle accident occurred Sunday, August 11, at Charlotte Douglas International Airport,” the airport said in an emailed statement. “Emergency and medical crews responded and transported the driver to the hospital, where he later died. Our thoughts are with the employee’s family and co-workers. The Airport is working closely with its airline partner and are assisting, as needed. We are extremely grateful for the quick response of our emergency crews and law enforcement officers and for the medical assistance and care they provided to the airline employee.”

American Airlines is “deeply saddened by the death of one of our team members from Piedmont Airlines,” the company said in a statement. “Right now our priority is caring for his family, and for our team in Charlotte. We are extremely grateful to the coworkers and emergency personnel who provided assistance and medical aid throughout this event.”


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