A new photo has been released showing the damage caused to a Southwest Airlines jetliner after it struck and killed a person on a runway at an Austin, Texas airport. The collision, which occurred Thursday night, resulted in damage to the left engine cowling, with a photo obtained by CBS News showing a large dent on the cowling's leading edge.
In a statement, in which they confirmed they are "fully cooperating with local law enforcement and FAA," Southwest Airlines said that Southwest Airlines Flight #1392, flying from Dallas, had been cleared to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and landed safely. Shortly after touchdown, however, an individual became visible on runway 17R.
"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," Southwest Airlines said in a statement. "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."
The Federal Aviation Administration reported that the driver of an airport operations vehicle later found the body on the runway, with the Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services confirming in a statement that the person was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim's identity has not been released.
"When they discovered the individual on the runway it was pretty clear what had occurred. The plane had struck the individual," Mandy McClendon, an airport spokeswoman, told The New York Times, adding that it was a "preliminary finding" based on "information we received from first responders."
No one on board Flight #1392 was injured, and all 53 passengers and five crew members safely exited the plane once it taxied to a gate. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.