A mechanic who had worked for American Airlines for 30 years died Monday after falling from a jet bridge at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
NBC 5 has learned the mechanic was closing and locking the door on a Boeing 767 at about 10:30 a.m. when he somehow slipped and fell about 14 feet from the jet bridge to the ground below.
The plane, sources said, had just been moved from a maintenance hangar to Gate D30.
Emergency responders with the airport treated and transported the man to a hospital, airport officials said.
Transport Workers Union Local 591 identified the man as aircraft maintenance technician Dave Ostang and asked for thoughts and prayers for his family.
American Airlines has confirmed the employee's death, but did not confirm his name or specifics about the incident in a statement released to the media Monday.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to our co-worker's family and friends, and our hearts go out to our entire team of DFW airport and maintenance colleagues. Our focus is on taking care of his family and friends during this difficult time,” the airline said in a statement.
A jet bridge is the elevated gangway used by passengers to walk from the terminal to an airplane.
Ostang was remembered by friends Monday night at a Knights of Columbus meeting he likely would have attended.
“We all have this hole in our heart, this sadness of loss,” said Eric McKuzes, Grand Knight and friend.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Ostang, a father and veteran, was a member of the group for years.
“I just couldn't believe it. I didn't believe it when they told me,” said McKuzes. “As the day goes on, you find out the facts, it’s just sad he’s not here.”
The Knight of Columbus are known for supporting the church and families in need. Now, one of their own families is in need of support.
“That’s what we'll be doing, looking at ways so that we can help his family get through this,” said McKuzes.
NBC 5's Ray Villeda and Katy Blakey contributed to this report.