‘It’s perplexing’: Concerns raised at Salt Lake airport following security breach and man’s death

Jan 3, 2024, 11:26 PM | Updated: Jan 4, 2024, 9:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Police released new details about the moments that led up to officers finding an unconscious man inside a plane engine at Salt Lake City International Airport Monday.

Salt Lake City police public information officer Brent Weisberg said the disturbance an airport store manager reported had to do with statements Kyler Efinger made to employees.

Man found dead inside plane engine after breaching security at Salt Lake airport

“When this individual got to the airport he went to a store,” Weisberg said. “There was some sort of conversation, interactions with some store employees, and the manager felt uncomfortable about that. The individual made some statements that were concerning to the manager.”

He said there was a five-minute delay between the time of the disturbance and when officers were notified of the situation. According to police’s timeline, it was reported at 9:56 p.m.

“We understand that this is a very unusual event, we’re fortunate that this doesn’t happen often but we do have a lot of security that is in place at the airport,” Weisberg said.

He said the department is investigating how Efinger was able to pass through the emergency exit and make it to the tarmac, as well as what happened in his life in the hours and days before it happened.

Man killed in Delta jet engine at SLC Airport had a manic episode, family says

“We do understand the concerns that may exist out there,” Weisberg said. He said the department constantly reviews its airport safety and security protocols.

Former Ogden Airport manager Jon Greiner said this security breach shows a failure in the airport’s emergency plan.

“You have what you call an ASP,” he said. “It’s an airport security plan that you’re responsible (for) as the manager of the airport and inside of that plan is every door, every fence, everything that allows anybody to get inside of the airport because TSA wants it secure.”

Greiner said TSA does inspections annually to make sure the plan is effective and up to date. Part of the plan is training for everyone who has a badge to get into the airport operations area.

“Everybody in there goes through a training class every two years, see something, say something, do something,” Greiner said. “You’re guaranteeing in that document that you’ll have response from local law enforcement in less than five minutes.”

According to police’s timeline, it took officers 12 minutes to reach Efinger from the time the emergency exit alarm was triggered to the time they discovered him unconscious.

“I don’t think our response time was delayed in anything in this,” Weisberg said. “Our officers acted appropriately, they acted as quickly as possible.”

He said many times officers need an escort to cross runways or taxiways. He said they can’t always use sirens or flashing lights like they can on city streets.

Greiner said other people should have intervened, along with police.

“It’s kind of surprising to me that somebody can get through one of those doors, even though it set off the alarm, and get all the way across the airport where everybody on that airport tarmac has had the same training,” he said.

He said security breaches like this one can come with large fines from TSA. Greiner said the situation could have resulted in harm done to other people.

“If a guy gets on a plane, he’s got a gun and whatever … it’s the what if,” Greiner said.

Police said when Efinger was found inside the cowling of the plane’s engine, the engines were not operating in a way where they could have caused physical intake.

“He did not have any contact or transfer through the blade,” Weisberg said. After Efinger was discovered, he was given life-saving attempts but ultimately died at the scene. His cause of death is still unknown.

“Based on this individual’s behavior and some of the things that they, the officers observed, those officers wanted to take every step possible to make sure they could render as much first aid in that emergency situation as possible, including that naloxone,” Weisberg said.

A spokesperson for the airport said it doesn’t have anything to release until the investigation is complete. The spokesperson did note that there are designated emergency exits that lead out to the airfield that passengers and employees can use if they need to evacuate from the airport quickly.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, Brad Wilson appears to be ...

Daniel Woodruff

Brad Wilson appears to be pulling back in U.S. Senate race

As the push to the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate heats up, one candidate appears to be slowing down

12 minutes ago

green rows of tomato plants...

Mike Anderson

Iceland facilities excite Utah delegation about geothermal possibilities

Some state leaders are learning how small geothermal plants could power communities of the future here in Utah. With access to geothermal water from the ground, there is a lot that can be done.

25 minutes ago

Officials urge people to stay away from high-running waters, and to implement systems to avoid floo...

Shelby Lofton

Safety and flood warnings near rivers, reservoirs hit capacity

Heavy snow two years in a row left reservoirs filled to the brim. Now, high temperatures are making rivers more active than usual. Here is how you can keep your home and family safe this summer.

47 minutes ago

Signs advertising fresh fruit and vegetables along Box Elder County's Fruit Way along Highway 89....

Alex Cabrero

Utah farmers say a strong winter has led to an amazing crop season

Fruit and vegetable farmers in northern Utah are saying this crop season might be one of the best in recent memory.

47 minutes ago

Former President Donald Trump gestures after speaking during the North Carolina Republican Party Co...

Samuel Benson, Deseret News

Poll: Trump leads big among Utah voters; Biden, Kennedy tied

After viewing both Trump and Biden unfavorably in August, most Utahns now see Trump favorably

2 hours ago

Temperatures officially hit 100 degrees in Salt Lake City Thursday for the first time this year, wh...

Lindsay Aerts

Salt Lake sees first 100-degree day, here’s how it’s measured

Temperatures officially hit 100 degrees in Salt Lake City Thursday for the first time this year. The measuring of the temperature isn’t as cut and dry as you might think.

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

‘It’s perplexing’: Concerns raised at Salt Lake airport following security breach and man’s death