Over $100,000 has been raised for the children of an airline worker who tragically passed away after she was sucked into the engine of a passenger plane. According to PEOPLE, the National Transportation Safety Board said the fatal December 31 incident occurred while Courtney Edwards was working at the Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama.
The NTSB also stated in a report that it seemed multiple safety protocols were not observed, WHSV reported. Prior to the plane’s arrival, the report stated that two safety meetings took place to remind the crew not to go near the plane as its engines will not be shut down after it landed.
When the plane landed, the report stated that the flight crew allowed the aircraft’s engines to run for a required two-minute “engine cool down period.” But as the captain initiated the process of shutting down the plane’s right engine, a cockpit alert showed the front cargo door had been opened. This caused the plane’s first officer to open the cockpit window to notify the ramp agent that the plane’s engines had not been shut down. The fatal incident occurred not too long after.
In the surveillance footage of the incident, Edwards, 34, was seen holding an orange safety cone and making her way to the back of the plane, the report stated, per PEOPLE. She, however, went out of sight at a certain point. She later died after she was sucked into the plane engine.
“Courtney was a Ground Handling agent for Piedmont Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, a loving mother of 3 kids and a wonderful daughter to her beloved mother,” the GoFundMe that was set up for Edwards stated. “Please know that this tragedy has and will affect her mother, family, friends, and kids for years to come.”
The fundraiser’s initial target was $25,000. But over $100,000 has so far been raised for the deceased woman’s children.
“The news of this terrible tragedy was heartbreaking,” Richard Honeycutt, vice president of Communication Workers of America District 3, said in a statement about Edwards’ passing. “Courtney was a valued member of her team and our union. She was away from her family working on New Year’s Eve making sure passengers got to where they needed to be for the holidays. She represents the very best of our CWA airport members, who constantly make sacrifices to serve the flying public.”
Honeycutt added: “Her memory will live on in the hearts and minds of her fellow CWA members and those closest to her. Our staff and local leaders are on the ground coordinating with the relevant agencies as the investigation continues. We are doing as much as we can to provide support for her family and loved ones during this most tragic time.”