staff and news service reports
updated 8/8/2011 7:36:25 AM ET 2011-08-08T11:36:25

An engineer working at an airplane testing facility has been sucked into an engine and killed.

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Domestic carrier Air New Zealand confirmed the man was performing routine maintenance on a Lockheed C-130 Hercules airplane engine just after 8 a.m. Monday (4 p.m. ET Sunday) at the Woodbourne air field in Blenheim when he the incident occurred.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said the engine was sitting on a stand without propellers attached and was not affixed to a plane at the time of the accident.

TVNZ identified the engineer as Miles Hunter, 51.

'Very routine procedure'
Rob Fyfe, chief executive of Air New Zealand, told ONE News that officials were at a "complete loss" as how the incident occurred.

"It was a very routine procedure with very experienced people involved," he added.

Tasman Police communications manager Barbara Dunn said emergency services personnel performed CPR on Hunter but couldn't revive him.

Hunter worked for a Safe Air, a subsidiary of Air New Zealand.

The Associated Press and staff contributed to this report.


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