Debasis Dev (30), an executive of IndiGo airlines, died after falling down from a stationary aircraft at Kolkata airport in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The incident occurred between 2.40am and 3.15am.
Dev was on night shift and was supervising the ongoing cleaning process inside the aircraft.
He fell down from the rear entry and exit door of the aircraft.
According to sources at the airport, generally, a ladder is supposed to be attached to any door of an aircraft if it is opened.
But on this occasion that did not happen.
Questions are being raised as to why no ladder was attached to the door from where Dev fell down in spite of the door being open.
Sources added that Dev was reportedly taking photographs on the aircraft.
His back was turned towards the open door, and since no ladder was attached, he overstepped, fell down, and died.
But the police are not treating the incident as a simple accident.
“We are not ruling out foulplay. We have started a case of causing death by negligence under Section 304(A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” Santosh Nimbalkar, additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP) airport, of Bidhannagar Commissionerate, said.
Police said that Dev sustained major head injuries and his skull was broken.
“He was taken to Charnok Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Then his body was taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital for a postmortem,” the ADCP airport said.
“At present, we are interrogating four employees, including a couple of managers of the airline, and two employees who were with Dev on the night shift,” Nimbalkar said. “We have also seized the airline’s register and duty chart,” the ADCP said.
“All mobile phone details of the deceased are being checked,” he added.
The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also started an investigation.
The airline has submitted detailed information on the incident to the DGCA on Wednesday morning, said sources.
The DGCA would look into why a ladder was not attached to the door.
It would also try to find out whether a ladder was attached earlier and then removed which Dev might not have noticed.
If necessary, agency officials would interrogate other employees.
“Dev was a resident of Santoshpur. We will ensure that the employee’s family gets all benefits and the dependent gets a job,” Pradip Sikdar, general secretary of Airports Authority of India Staff and Workers Union said.
IndiGo airlines said in a statement, “We regret to inform the demise of Debasis Dev, customer service executive (ramp) in Kolkata in the early hours today. Debasis was associated with IndiGo for almost 6 years and his role was to ensure safe, secure and timely ramp operations and supervision of cabin grooming.”
It also said according to their records, Dev entered the aircraft at 2.49am to inspect its cleaning.
At 3.06am, they got information that he had fallen from the left side rear (L2) door of VT-IED registration aircraft parked on bay 23.