Louisiana Woman Dies After Hair Gets Caught in Conveyor Belt at New Orleans Airport

by Xara Aziz
Suitcase or luggage with conveyor belt in the airport

Twenty-six-year-old Jermani Thompson began her day like any other but the day ended in tragedy after a freak accident led to her death.

On the evening of August 30, Thompson, a baggage handling supervisor at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, was unloading luggage off a Frontier Airlines flight when her hair got stuck in a conveyor belt. She was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead from sustained injuries. According to GAT Airline Ground Support – the ground services company Thompson worked for – long hairstyles “should be worn pulled back” and off the face and neck, according to its employee handbook. It is unclear how her hair was worn the day of the incident.

GAT Airline Ground Support CEO Mike Hough did not immediately respond to press inquiries about the incident; however, the company’s website states that “we develop highly trained professionals who safely and effectively provide turn-around and overnight services for our airline partners. Our performance results are unsurpassed in the industry. We understand the importance of safe, on-time departures which is why we exceed our partners’ expectations, always.”

In a statement released after the accident, Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation for Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, was “deeply saddened about the tragic loss of GAT Airline Ground Support team member, Jermani Thompson. The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport extends its sincere condolences to her family and friends, and also to our partners at GAT and Frontier Airlines.”

He continued: “Jermani was a part of our Airport family, and we will continue to support one another in any way we can during this trying time.”

Thompson was a known and loved athlete who recently graduated from Tougaloo College in Mississippi, her mother Angela Dorsey told NOLA.com. “She loved basketball,” Thompson said. “She was my baby girl. Everybody loved her. “I’m just lost for words. I can’t even think.”

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