Sheriff’s investigators are looking into Tuesday evening death at John Wayne Airport


One person was killed when a large tire being worked on exploded at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana late Tuesday night, officials said.

Two airport contractors were working on the 4-foot-tall jet bridge tire about 11:30 p.m. in a workshop near Gate Three when the tire exploded and caused traumatic injuries to one of the workers, airport spokeswoman Deanne Thompson said.

The victim was identified as Brandon Allison, 37 of Fullerton, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Both contractors were employees of John Bean Technologies.


A jet bridge is the enclosed, movable connector that extends from an airport terminal gate to an airplane, allowing passengers to board and exit the aircraft without being exposed to the elements.

The force of the explosion triggered a fire alarm and sprinklers inside the workshop and prompted a response from an Orange County Fire Authority crew and paramedics stationed at the airport, Thompson said.

The second employee in the workshop refused medical attention. No airport operations were affected by the explosion, authorities said.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the explosion and Cal/OSHA investigators are expected to arrive at the airport Wednesday to conduct an investigation, officials said.