Worker dies from injuries in 777 air-bag accident in Everett


December 8, 2014
By Dominic Gates
Twitter @dominicgates

A worker for a Boeing supplier has died from injuries caused when a passenger-seat air-bag inflater accidentally discharged during installation on the Everett flight line last month. 

Ken Otto, a technician for Jamco America, which supplies Boeing with aircraft interiors, died Sunday, said Jamco spokeswoman Shelley Rich. 

Otto and a technician from another supplier were injured Nov. 13 while working on a passenger seat inside a 777 passenger jet being prepared for delivery. 

An air-bag inflater discharged and hit Otto violently in the face, according to people familiar with the details. Air bags, a safety device common in cars, are installed on relatively few airliner seats.

The second person injured, a technician with the Everett-based unit of German interiors-assembly firm Vartan Aviation Group, was treated at the scene, taken to a hospital and later released. 

Further details on the two workers were not available.

A Boeing statement said the injuries “were not related to air bag deployment, as would occur during passenger flight, but rather were related to the discharge of the inflater while the system was partially disassembled.” 

Boeing cautioned employees, suppliers and airline operators to ensure that the seat-belt air-bag system is not connected to the plane’s electrical system “unless all the components of the system are completely installed.”

Otto v. BoeingKaren Koehler