Air India grounds two pilots after engineer’s death

Mumbai, Dec 17 (IANS) Air India on Thursday de-rostered the pilot and co-pilot of an aircraft whose live engine sucked in a maintenance engineer leading to his horrific death, official sources said here.

The pilot and co-pilot have been taken off flying duties pending the inquiry being conducted by the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) into the shocking incident of Wednesday.

The grounding of pilots is a standard procedure after any such incident and does not constitute any form of action against them, officials said.

Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani announced an ex-gratia of Rs.500,000 to the family of the deceased, service engineer Ravi Subramanian.

“The funeral shall be performed tomorrow and we have offered a job to a family of the victim,” Lohani said.

Air India offices observed a two-minute silence at 11 a.m. on Thursday to mourn Subramanian’s death, he added.

“The DGCA is conducting an inquiry. So it will not be proper to comment… Initially it seems there was some communication gap (resulting in the tragedy),” Lohani said.

“No disciplinary action has been taken against anyone till now.”

In a freak accident, Subramanian was suddenly sucked into an engine of an Airbus A-319 aircraft at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here on Wednesday evening.

The incident occurred at bay 28 around 8.40 p.m. when the aircraft with around 100 passengers was being prepared for a Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI-619.

The victim was sucked in by the running engine of the aircraft. His badly mutilated body was later recovered.

The passengers in the aircraft, many of them dazed after seeing the macabre incident, were deboarded and put on another flight which departed around an hour later.

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