Technician sucked into Air India plane engine in Mumbai airport, killed

The deceased allegedly got stuck in the engine of the flight while the plane was being taxied away.

Written by Tabassum Barnagarwala , Rohit Alok | Mumbai | Updated: December 17, 2015 11:24 am
Air india, air india accident, air india mumbai, air india mumbai accident, mumbai air india, air india news, Air india news, air cst airport, mumbai news, india news, File photo of Air India (Representational image)

An aircraft technician with Air India was killed Wednesday at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport when he was sucked into the engine of an aircraft that was getting ready to taxi.

The incident occurred as the Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 began its pushback at 8.46 pm. The technician, Ravi Subramanian, got pulled into the engine and died instantly. Hours later, the process of extricating the severely mutilated body was still underway.

An investigation was announced by Air India immediately. The DGCA also ordered an inquiry.

mumbai-air-india759 Aircraft parked at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, where a technician was killed Wednesday night. Express Photo/Vasant Prabhu

In a statement, Air India chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani said, “We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident at Mumbai airport this evening when an Air India technician died in a mishap during pushback of flight AI 619. The incident is being investigated.”

Speaking to The Indian Express, Lohani said, “The flight was already boarded. It was ready for take-off. While it was pushing back to come on the airstrip, he (Subramanian) was working on the ground. His body got entangled in the engine.”

Pushback is the process of using tugs or tows to move an aircraft backward before it taxies out.

Subramaniam, 56, was a Vashi resident and worked as a service engineer. His job included disconnecting the pushcart from the aircraft before it moves towards the runway.

When the accident happened, an aircraft maintenance engineer was also with him.

According to the standard operating procedure, a maintenance engineer first gives clearance to the pilot by waving a red flag, after which the pilot can start the engine for taxiing out.

According to an eyewitness, it appeared that the flight captain may have started the engine before the clearance, though officials could not confirm this immediately.

Subramanian was near the nose wheel along with the pushcart when the engine started and he was sucked in.

The Mumbai Police is also investigating the accident. “Prima facie evidence indicates a case of accidental death, no one appears to be at fault,” Virendra Mishra, zonal DCP, said. A case of accidental death has been registered at the Sahar police station.

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  1. L
    Logan Dyer
    Dec 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm
    They violated critical safety procedures leading to this poor man's gruesome death.
    Reply
    1. A
      A
      Dec 17, 2015 at 12:55 am
      modi must resign ..tollerance awrd wapsi chalu karo
      Reply
      1. A
        Ahmad Taher
        Dec 19, 2015 at 7:59 pm
        The investigation has just started and no one at fault statement has been released, let the investigation finish first then make a statement, this is a basic routine procedure to keep safety distance from a running engine, it is 3 meters approximately at idle power
        Reply
        1. D
          Dhwaraswamy Somasekharan
          Dec 17, 2015 at 8:23 am
          I wish AIR INDIA pay all perks and compensations to his family SOON,
          Reply
          1. A
            Avinash Chandra
            Dec 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm
            why is Air India hiding facts? How can you say that no one is at fault? If there is no one at fault you can always put responsibility on Modi. Right?
            Reply
            1. M
              M R
              Dec 17, 2015 at 2:35 am
              It is a sad reading that an engineer was sucked into an airplane's engine and was killed. One thing is how was it that the engine was started when the technician was still at the nosewheel with the push cart. Who could have given the clearance to start the engine or was it started without ground clearance. Looks like safety precautions have taken a beating. Things are taken for granted and this time at the cost of a life.
              Reply
              1. D
                D.S.Mokha
                Dec 17, 2015 at 3:44 pm
                If no body is at fault then corrective action is neither required nor should it be taken. That will ensure soon similar accident will happen again. Many people were interacting with each other, they are available for enquiry, it is so easy to find the cause in this case. Enquiry is not meant only to blame some one. Must find the cause of the accident,and other airlines and operators must be informed with recommendations to prevent its re- occurence.
                Reply
                1. D
                  Don Paredes
                  Dec 16, 2015 at 8:11 pm
                  Guys just a quick reminder. Be safe
                  Reply
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