Man critically injured after falling into grease trap at Austin airport, 2 others hurt

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One person has critical, life-threatening injuries after falling into a grease trap at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Wednesday. Two other men were hurt.

Around 3:07 a.m. the man fell into the 8-10 foot deep hole on the loading dock, where the grease from restaurants at ABIA collects. According to Austin-Travis County EMS, two of the people were exposed to the grease but were able to get themselves out. One was not able to get out on his own, went into cardiac arrest and was given CPR. All three men went to the hospital.

An ABIA spokesperson confirmed two employees from a contractor called Liquid Environmental Solutions and one airport operations employee were involved. He said the airport employee has been released from the hospital.

Workers like these routinely clean the five grease traps at the airport, ABIA confirmed. The contractor workers open up the cap on them every 3 to 4 months to clean them. According to the City of Austin “Grease traps are designed to separate out the Fats, Oils and Greases (FOGs) and solids normally found in food preparation waste from the rest of the wastewater being discharged to the City’s sanitary sewer system.”

ABIA said this incident could lead to safety protocol changes.

“At the time, the airport is going to review that took place and then we are going to make adjustments to benefit the safety of everyone who is involved so yes — looking at this it is normal for us to review and then try to make adjustments,” said Derick Hackett of ABIA. 

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