Baggage handler dies after hair gets caught in conveyer belt at New Orleans airport

Jermani Thompson was unloading bags from a Frontier Airlines flight

Airport employee dies after her hair reportedly got tangled on the baggage belt loader.

NEW ORLEANS – A 26-year-old former college basketball player died Tuesday night after an accident at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Jermani Thompson was working as a baggage handler and unloading bags from a Frontier Airlines flight when her hair got caught in a belt loader, according to

“We are heartbroken and are supporting her family and her friends as best as we are able. Please send your well wishes to everyone at our New Orleans station during this very difficult time,” the CEO of GAT Airline Ground Support told FOX 8.

Following the industrial accident, Thompson was taken to the hospital where she died.

“We extend our deepest condolences following the tragic death of a team member of our ground handling business partner at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this difficult time,” a spokesperson for Frontier Airlines said in a statement.

Thompson worked for GAT, a company that performs ground services for airlines, according to WWL, the CBS news affiliate in New Orleans.

It’s unclear if Thompson was following safety protocols when the accident occurred but WWL obtained a copy of the GAT employee handbook, which states long hairstyles should be worn with hair pulled back and away from the face and neck.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.