Seven people were injured in a jet bridge collapse Saturday night at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, according to a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Staff on Southwest Flight 822 from Punta Cana, Domincan Republic, requested paramedics meet them on the ground because a passenger had become sick on the plane. After the flight landed at 7:47 p.m., medics boarded to help the passenger off. As they exited, the jet bridge, which connects the plane to the terminal, collapsed.
“The next thing you know, there was a crash,” said Kelsey Traub, 20, who was on board the flight.
Four medics, two Southwest airline employees and the sick passenger all fell to the ground and were treated for injuries, according to the FAA.
Six were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, according to BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean. All were released early Sunday morning.
The remaining passengers left the plane via air stairs. One was Traub, 20, who was flying home to Owings Mills with her family. Despite the drama, she said, “Everybody was pretty calm.”
Traub wondered if the jet bridge had collapsed because paramedics were rushing to get the sick passenger to safety, or whether there was a structural defect.
In a tweet, BWI said they were investigating the incident. A spokesman for Southwest said the jet bridge is owned by BWI.
On Sunday Dean said that the incident was caused by a defective metal bracket on the jet bridge involved. As a precautionary measure, the brackets on five other jet bridges that were installed at the same time will also be replaced.
“Our passengers’ safety is the top priority and BWI Marshall Airport has moved quickly to address this issue,” Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn said in a statement.
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In October, a jet bridge collapse in Pakistan injured one person, according to media reports.