Worker de-icing plane tumbles to his death

Police and safety officers are investigating the death of a man who fell to the ground while de-icing a plane at Calgary International Airport.

Occupational Health and Airport Authorities look over an aircraft at Calgary Airport after a man fell to his death from the deicing bucket on Monday.

Occupational Health and Airport Authorities look over an aircraft at Calgary Airport after a man fell to his death from the deicing bucket on Monday.

CALGARY — Police and safety officers are investigating the death of a man who fell to the ground while de-icing a plane at Calgary International Airport.

Calgary Police Insp. Rob Williams said the man, in his early 50s, fell about six metres from the bucket of a de-icing truck at around 6 a.m. on Monday.

“An airport employee was de-icing a plane and a co-worker found him on the ground.

“It appears that he had fallen from the de-icing machine,” Williams said.

“When EMS arrived he was dead on scene and we’re investigating it along with the federal investigators.”

There was light snow falling at the time, but it is not clear if that was a factor in his accident.

The man who died was an employee of Servisair Canada, which specializes in providing de-icing services at airports.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of the Servisair employee who lost his life this morning,” said company spokeswoman Karen Gordon.

“Servisair is working with the authorities and regulators on their investigation, as well as conducting our own investigation into this tragic event. Out of respect for the family and friends of the employee we are not providing any further details.”

The death did not slow down operations at the airport, said spokeswoman Jody Moseley.

“YYC’s (Calgary International Airport) has an amazing safety record because all our partners really adhere to those safety standards on a regular basis, so it’s a very unusual occurrence and a very tragic one,” she said.

Aircraft are de-iced as a safety measure to prevent ice from forming on wings and control surfaces, which can affect a plane’s stability in the air.

Crews usually spray a fluid similar to anti-freeze on the aircraft.