An experienced engineer was performing a routine maintenance check on a planeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s engine when he was sucked in and killed.
Miles Hunter, 51, was working on a jet turbo prop engine at Woodbourne airbase, Blenheim, a town on New ZealandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s South Island, when tragedy hit at 8am on Monday.
Aviation experts described the accident as a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœone in a millionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ occurrence.
His fellow colleagues reportedly watched in horror as the worker was sucked in.
According to the airline, the engine had been detached from the plane without its propellers. It is also believed to have been in motion at the time of Mr HunterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s death.
Mr Hunter had been working for Safe Air Ltd which is owned by Air New Zealand.
Police said emergency services performed CPR on the man but he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe was at a loss to explain the accident.
He told the local press: Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a very routine procedure with very experience people involved. This will be felt deeply across the people, not just at the base, but the whole community.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A joint investigation is now underway by the police and the Department of Labour, Air New Zealand confirmed.
The fatality is said to be the first for the airline. In a similar accident, a US navy serviceman survived after being sucked into a jet engine on an aircraft carrier in 1991.
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