Last night (Aug. 30), a New Orleans airport employee died as a result of an accident that happened while on the job. Detective Brandon Veal (a spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office) shared that the incident took place around 10:20 p.m. as the woman unloaded luggage from a Frontier Airlines flight. Authorities have referred to her case as an “industrial accident.”
According to reports, the baggage handler’s hair became caught in a belt loader. The victim was 26-year-old Jermani Thompson of Reserve, Louisiana. She was identified by the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office today (Aug. 31). The accident happened in an area called the apron, where aircraft are parked, refueled, unloaded, boarded and serviced. Thompson was transported to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner where she was pronounced dead.
Erin Burns (a spokesperson for Louis Armstrong International Airport) noted that Thompson was employed as a member of GAT Airline Ground Support. The company’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Hough shared a statement regarding her death. “We are heartbroken and are supporting her family and her friends as best as we are able,” he said. Although one Frontier flight was canceled this morning following the tragedy, all other flights ran as scheduled.
Frontier spokesperson Jennifer de la Cruz also shared a prepared statement expressing the airline’s sadness in losing its employee. “We extend our deepest condolences following the tragic death of a team member of our ground handling business partner. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time,” she said.
Director of aviation for the airport, Kevin Dolliole, stated, “We are deeply saddened about the tragic loss of GAT Airline Ground Support team member, Jermani Thompson. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport extends its sincere condolences to her family and friends, and also to our partners at GAT and Frontier Airlines. Jermani was a part of our Airport family, and we will continue to support one another in any way we can during this trying time.” An autopsy has not yet been scheduled.