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Man hit, killed by Southwest plane as it landed at Austin airport

National News From ABC

Boarding1Now/iStockBy ALEX STONE, MINA KAJI and AMANDA MAILE, ABC News

(AUSTIN, Texas) — A man was struck and killed by a Southwest Airlines plane as it was landing on the runway of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport late Thursday, according to airport officials.

The pilot of the Southwest flight from Dallas to Austin reported a person on the runway to air traffic control after it was cleared to land.

“Where exactly do you see the man?” the controller asked.

“They are behind us now,” the pilot said.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement to ABC News that the aircraft “maneuvered to avoid an individual who became visible” shortly after the Boeing 737 touched down.

Austin Police Department’s airport unit discovered “an obviously deceased adult male” on the runway, a spokesperson for the police department said.

The scene was cleared overnight, according to an airport official, and the runway re-opened early Friday morning.

Southwest said none of the 59 people on board the flight were injured in the incident and that it is fully cooperating with local law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

FAA investigators deployed to the scene last night. The agency has not confirmed whether or not the aircraft struck the victim.

A spokesperson from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said it is still gathering information and has not launched an official investigation at this time.

The Austin Police Department did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment on how the victim gained access to the runway.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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