A 19-year-old Burlington Technical Center student died Wednesday from injuries sustained when he was struck by a lowering aircraft hangar door

By Victoria Welch
Burlington Free Press
April 29, 2004

A 19-year-old Burlington Technical Center student died Wednesday from injuries sustained when he was struck by a lowering aircraft hangar door, Burlington police said late Wednesday.

Martin Prince, 19, died at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after a morning accident at Burlington International Airport, Deputy Chief Walt Decker said. Prince, who was studying aircraft maintenance in a post-secondary program, was struck by the steel door as it descended at about 10 a.m., Decker said.

Fletcher Allen spokesman Mike Noble confirmed Prince’s death Wednesday evening, but said federal medical privacy regulations prevented him from releasing the time and cause of death.

Prince was one of eight students studying in the School of Airframe and Powerplant Technology. He graduated from Burlington Technical Center’s high school program in 2003 and was training to receive an airframe and powerplant license from the Federal Aviation Administration, said Mark Aliquo, director of Burlington Technical Center.

“Whenever you have incidents like this, it definitely shakes us up,” Aliquo said. He said investigation of the incident, the first in the program’s four-year history, will include the use of several external organizations, including police and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

“We’ll work with that information and see what it reveals,” he said. “We’ll have a very good picture of how it all played out.”

Decker said police have begun to interview the students and instructors present when the hangar door lowered. Police also are investigating the process involved with lowering the steel door, which weighs several tons.

“We will analyze mechanisms and who was in control of what,” he said.

While officials began investigations Wednesday, school administrators said they focused on alerting Prince’s family and friends. Counseling will be available for Burlington Technical Center faculty and students today, Burlington School Superintendent Lyman Amsden said.

Prince was described by his former high school principal as a student devoted to the vocational program.

“Marty was a treasured student at our school and we regret this loss very much,” said Amy Mellencamp, principal at Burlington High School. “We know how much the aviation program meant to him and express our sympathies to his parents.”

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