Air India offers job, Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia to dead technician’s kin

Mumbai: Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani today announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh and a job in the airline to the family of the AI engineer who was killed in a freak accident wherein he got sucked in by the engine. “We have lost a family member. An ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh has been given to the family. We have also offered a job to the family of the victim,” Lohani told reporters at the airport today.

He said the funeral of Ravi Subramanian, in his 40s, will be held tomorrow and a two-minute silence will be observed in AI offices across the network at 11 AM. When asked about the reason of the accident, according to him, he said since the regulator DGCA is already conducting an inquiry into the incident it will not be proper for him to comment.

However, he said “initially it seems that there was some communication gap. No disciplinary action has been taken against anyone till now”. In a freak accident last evening involving an AI flight (619, an Airbus 319) to Hyderabad from Mumbai, a service engineer, who was signalling the aircraft to reverse before take-off, got sucked in by the roaring engine and died immediately.

The impact of the engine was so hard that the remains of the body could not even be sent for postmortem. The mishap occurred when the co-pilot mistook a signal for starting the engine and Subramanian, who was standing close, got sucked into it at Bay No 28 of the Chhatrapati Shivaji domestic airport at around 8:40 PM.

“During the pusback, the co-pilot mistook a signal for engine start. As he switched on the engine, it sucked in the technician standing nearby,” Air India had earlier said. Earlier in the day, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma today told Parliament that a committee was set up under the Air India CMD to look into the incident.

The committee, comprising Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani and senior DGCA officials, has already reached Mumbai, he said. The minister said that the committee will investigate all issues related to the freak accident.

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