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Workers at Salt Lake City International Airport got a New Year’s Day shock when they discovered the body of a man inside a plane engine. The incident prompted an investigation into what led him there and what exactly led to his death. 

An airport official said in a statement that 30-year-old Kyler Efinger was able to get onto the airport runway through an emergency exit in the building. He went to a secure area where workers were de-icing planes and “crawled into an aircraft engine that was not running,” according to a statement to CNN. Employees found him unconscious and were unsuccessful in attempts to revive him. 

The plane was a Delta Air Lines flight set to take off from Salt Lake City to San Francisco. It returned to the gate once the discovery was made. The flight was then canceled and the 95 passengers were forced to find other flights. 

As nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers and people, Delta is fully cooperating with all aviation authority and law enforcement investigations,” a Delta spokesperson said. 

In the past, runway workers have been sucked into airplane engines that are turned on, resulting in gruesome deaths on the tarmac. The most recent incident that made national news was in June 2023 in San Antonio, as well as in December 2022 in Montgomery. Efinger was able to be identified because his body was intact. 

Local police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the situation for answers. 

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