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SpiceJet worker killed while fixing plane

A 22-year-old SpiceJet technician, who was carrying out maintenance work on an aircraft at the Kolkata airport, died on Wednesday after the doors that house the landing gear closed on him, the airline said in a statement.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2019 23:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
India news,SpiceJet,Rohit Pandey
Rohit Virendra Pandey, the SpiceJet technician who was killed after the landing gear door of the aircraft he was working on got shut at the Kolkata airport, Wednesday, July 10, 2019.(PTI file photo)

A 22-year-old SpiceJet technician, who was carrying out maintenance work on an aircraft at the Kolkata airport, died on Wednesday after the doors that house the landing gear closed on him, the airline said in a statement.

According to the airline, the doors closed “inadvertently”. “The landing-gear doors of the Bombardier Q400 aircraft had to be broken to rescue Rohit Pandey but he was declared dead,” the airline said in a statement.

Kaushik Bhattacharya, director of the Kolkata airport, said a team from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had visited the site of the accident, which took place around 1:43am on Wednesday.

“DGCA has already started an inquiry,” Bhattacharya said, adding that the technician’s body has been handed over to the police.

A complaint of unnatural death has been filed at the airport police station, a senior police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

“Our officers have reached the spot (of the accident). We are talking to other staffers of the airline who were present there. We are trying to understand whether it was a technical glitch or the result of someone’s callousness,” the officer said.

In December 2015, an Air India technician was killed after he was sucked into the engine of an Airbus A319 aircraft at the Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport in Mumbai. The incident occurred after the aircraft began taxiing, with the pilots not realising that ground personnel were still at the nose of the jet.

Pandey, an employee of the engineering and maintenance division of the airline, came to Kolkata from Mumbai three months ago and lived in the city with his aunt. He was posted in Delhi previously.

Vandana Pandey, a cousin who lives in Kolkata, said the family was informed about Rohit’s death around 3am on Wednesday.

“We were told that he was working alone. Somebody else should have been present there. He started working at 12 (midnight). He was found hanging around 2:30am. No one from SpiceJet contacted us. We would certainly speak to them (the company),” Vandana said.

According to the airport ground crew, one of the drivers working at the airport spotted Pandey’s body trapped between the flaps and alerted the others. “We have spent nearly two decades at this airport. We have never heard about such a freak accident here,” a staffer told HT on condition of anonymity.

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Jul 10, 2019 23:20 IST

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