Video: Man found dead after climbing inside jet engine at US airport

Officers found the man's clothing, shoes and other personal items on one of the runways

By AP

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Photo: Screengrab
Photo: Screengrab

Published: Sat 20 Jan 2024, 8:01 AM

Last updated: Sat 20 Jan 2024, 10:40 PM

A man was found dead inside an airplane engine on the night of January 1 at Salt Lake City International Airport after police say he breached an emergency exit door, walked onto the tarmac and climbed inside the jet's engine.

Officers found 30-year-old Kyler Efinger, of Park City, unconscious inside an engine mounted to the wing of a commercial aircraft loaded with passengers, the Salt Lake City Police Department announced January 2. The plane had been sitting on a de-icing pad, and its engines were rotating.

Efinger was a ticketed passenger with a boarding pass to Denver, police said.

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The manager of a store inside the airport had reported a disturbance just before 10 p.m., telling dispatchers with the Airport Control Center that he saw a passenger pass through an emergency exit. Officers quickly found Efinger's clothing, shoes and other personal items on one of the runways.

The airport recently released footage of Efinger trying to get through closed doors and emergency exits before running on the runway.

After locating him, the officers told air traffic controllers to notify the pilot to shut down the aircraft's engines. The specific stage of engine operation remains under investigation, police said Tuesday.

First responders pulled Efinger out of the engine intake cowling, which directs air flow to the engine fan. They attempted life-saving measures, performing CPR and administering naloxone, a fast-acting medication that can reverse opioid overdose and restore normal breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Salt Lake City police are working with the state medical examiner’s office to determine the cause of death, which may include a toxicology report.

Passengers were removed from the plane when Efinger was found, but overall airport operations were not interrupted, police said. An initial investigation indicates the man accessed the airport’s ramp area from the emergency exit and climbed inside the nearby engine.

An airport spokesperson did not immediately respond to email and phone messages seeking comment.

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