One passenger suffered a fractured elbow and another suffered neck and back pain after the intense blast from a Ryanair aircraft engine knocked them to the ground at Seville airport.
The Ryanair aircraft was preparing to depart from an airport stand and started its engines as it prepared to taxi, according to a report by Spain's air safety investigator CIAIAC.
Passengers who were preparing to board an adjacent Ryanair aircraft were instructed to halt at a blast barrier. But the blast from the departing Ryanair aircraft impacted some of those passengers due to a gap in the blast barrier designed to shield them from such events.
The incident occurred in October 2010 and the investigation has just recently been completed.
Despite being told to stop at a blast barrier, some passengers approaching the stationary Ryanair aircraft, which was due to fly to Barcelona, were still hit by strong wind from the taxiing Ryanair aircraft.
One woman told investigators that she was blown off her feet, but she boarded the flight to Barcelona despite pain in her neck and elbow and a cut on her finger. In Barcelona, she was treated by the airport doctor, who recommended that she go to hospital for a more thorough examination. At the hospital she was informed she had a broken elbow and a pulled neck muscle.
"The airline did not consider the fact that the angle of incidence of the jet blast from a turning aircraft could affect passengers or persons who, though behind the barrier, might be too close to the end of the barrier," said the CIAIAC in its report. "The changes made as part of the last revision to the procedure does take into account this situation."
"For its part, the airport closed the gap that existed in the barrier involved in the event and is drafting a procedure that specifically defines the staff that must be on hand at each parking stand during boarding and disembarking," it added.