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HOUSTON – An “automated people mover” struck two contract workers at Bush Intercontinental Airport Tuesday, killing one and injuring the other.

Automated people movers are the trams that transport travelers between terminals.

It happened just before noon on an elevated portion of the track near the airport Marriott and Terminal B.

An airport spokesperson said the tram was traveling about 33 mph when it hit the men. The trams have the capacity to carry about 5,000 passengers per hour in each direction, but it was not clear if there were people onboard at the time.

Rescue crews used an HFD ladder truck to hoist both victims down from the track. The surviving man was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. His condition was not known.

Police have yet to release the identity of either worker.

Airport officials said both men were independent contractors with Johnson Controls doing work for Continental.  

The airline released a statement about the accident Tuesday afternoon.

“Two men employed by contractors performing minor modifications to the automated people mover system at Bush Intercontinental Airport were involved in a serious accident today. Continental is working with the authorities in their review of the accident and we extend our deepest sympathy to the family members of those involved,” the statement read.