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 Rohit Alok , Tabassum Barnagarwala | 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
                  1. G
                    gsbuch
                    Dec 17, 2015 at 2:14 am
                    Such accidents happen in India. If such an accident has happened elsewhere, i would like to know. There may be sheer carelessness either on part of pilot or the dead. Would like to know more. Grief is there for a life is lost
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Krishnan
                      Dec 17, 2015 at 3:46 am
                      Atleast mention the full name of the deceased for the sake of his/her family. How would your family feel if suppose you (the journalists) meet an untimely death and somebody reports Alok and Barnargarwala have died? And just to add the statement by AI head appears totally insensitive (technician really?) but then what can you expect from them?
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        Manu USA
                        Dec 17, 2015 at 2:27 am
                        Certainly captain at fault. How come the engine was started without flag. I feel really sorry for the dead. He lost his life due to someone.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          Mahendra Sapre
                          Dec 17, 2015 at 9:26 am
                          It is a clear case of the Aircraft Commander starting the engine too early.
                          Reply
                          1. I
                            Ind
                            Dec 17, 2015 at 9:20 am
                            God Bless America.
                            Reply
                            1. N
                              Niladrinath Mohanty
                              Dec 17, 2015 at 2:16 am
                              Indians take unnecessary risk and do not follow safety rule and practice. There has to be a cause for this accident and to say that no body was at fault is not correct.
                              Reply
                              1. G
                                Ghoda Murshatpur
                                Dec 16, 2015 at 10:20 pm
                                No body is at fault ! Investigation over ! Get back to work & be ready to sacrifice your life for nobody's fault.
                                Reply
                                1. N
                                  Nelson
                                  Dec 17, 2015 at 8:17 am
                                  ALL THIS CAN HAPPEN ONLY IN AIR INDIA . DIRTY PLANES RUDE GMA PMS AIR HOSTESSES, WITH GARGANTUAN ES AND PAUNCHES. SOME OF THEM WERE KIND , HOWEVER . LOUSY SERVICE .
                                  Reply
                                  1. T
                                    Thinker
                                    Dec 17, 2015 at 2:20 am
                                    "It appeared that the flight captain may have started the engine before the clearance" - it cannot be anything else but that. Hundreds of aircraft are started up everyday across the World and this person (RIP) was 56 years old, so he obviously must be a seasoned professional. He would never stray in front of the engine without taking due safety precautions. This must be investigated thoroughly. Another black mark on Air India's already blackened record.
                                    Reply
                                    1. m
                                      me_arie
                                      Dec 17, 2015 at 9:25 am
                                      What an irresponsible statement by the DCP, Virendra Mishra: "“Prima facie evidence indicates a case of accidental death, no one appears to be at fault,” ...................... Prima facie this appears to be the fault of the pilot for starting enigine before getting clearance or the maintenance engineer for giving an untimely start signal. An innocent has died and the guilty must be brought to book....what else are the police and judiciary for?
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        rohit shah
                                        Dec 17, 2015 at 2:14 am
                                        This is absolutely an un wanted death because of GROSS negligence . Life is so cheap. The way death is made out. The Aviation Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma TWITES to say he acknowledges that a death has taken place. In half sentence that Engineer life is written off SO INSENSITIVE. THE MINISTER AND GOVT OFFICIALS HAVE BECOME SO DAM CASUAL LIKE THE PM he is on Twiitter but less work as a PM. Hai Ram BAN TWITTER
                                        Reply
                                        1. S
                                          Safwan
                                          Dec 17, 2015 at 4:58 am
                                          Its not that u start the engine and u get sucked in straight away.. i dont beleive this. And in idle power the intake power is not too high to suck the guy at the nose wheel. Again it reflects Air India's irresponsible atude in even reporting the accident. Its certainly the mistake of the captain sonfar i heard. The Apu /engine bleed might have been inop and to start the second engine cross bleed should be given which inturn the caotain has to increase the power of the stated engine. Heard tgat the captain had not set the brakes though instructed and this happens and has happened to me too. The aircraft rolls ahead and since one engine was being given power ,when the tug was disconnedcted the aircraft rolled ahead and before the guy could have reacted might have sucked in.. tragic and sad... expecting a true investigation
                                          Reply
                                          1. S
                                            sam
                                            Dec 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm
                                            Oh Sorry Ravi Forgot to set parking brake on after push back was complted.
                                            Reply
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