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An Air India technician died after being sucked into the engine of an aircraft parked at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday.
The mishap occurred when the co-pilot of Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 mistook a signal for starting the engine and the victim, Ravi Subramanian, got sucked into it at bay 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport around 8.40pm.
“An Air India technician died in a mishap during pushback of flight AI 619; the incident is being investigated,” Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said. “We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident at Mumbai airport,” he added.
“The body is still stuck in the engine, efforts are going on to retrieve it,” an airport official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the matter.
An Air India source said a probe has been ordered into the incident. “At the moment, we are absolutely clueless on how this person was near the aircraft. Only an inquiry can establish whose negligence it was and whether the engine should have been switched on at that time,” the official said.
The local police, the airline and other authorities have launched independent investigations into the case. Officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), too, were investigating the episode, an airport source said.
A similar incident had occurred in the late 1990s in Chennai when a bird scarer was sucked into the engine after he ran towards the plane, while it was preparing for take-off.
With inputs from PTI