In a freak accident, a 22-year-old technician of SpiceJet was killed after his head got stuck between the hydraulic flaps of the landing gear door of an aircraft during maintenance work at Kolkata airport in the wee hours of Wednesday, an official of the airline said.
The incident took place around 1.45 am when the landing gear door “accidentally” shut, leaving Rohit Virendra Pandey dead. “Pandey was doing maintenance work in right hand main landing gear wheel area of a Q400 aircraft which was parked in Bay No 32 Kolkata Airport on July 10. Inadvertently, the main landing gear hydraulic door closed and he got stuck in between the hydraulic door flap. The hydraulic doors were broken to rescue Pandey but he was declared dead,” a statement issued by SpiceJet read.
“The technician was carrying out maintenance work on the landing gear of the Bombardier Q400 plane when the landing door accidentally got closed and he got stuck there. He was hanging in a vertical position while his leg was placed on the wheel,” said an official of Kolkata airport.
An airport official said that the body was so badly stuck between the door flaps that fire brigade had to cut a portion of the door to remove it.
Pandey worked with the engineering and maintenance department and lived in Kolkata with his uncle and aunt. His family, originally from Bihar, lives in Mumbai.
“We have launched a probe into the incident,” PTI quoted a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It also stated that the SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 regional jet was recalled on Tuesday when it was taxiing for take-off to Silchar from Kolkata due to some technical snag.
Airport police have filed a case of unnatural death. “We are investigating the case. People who were there at the spot will be examined. It could be a fallout of some technical glitch or negligence on someone’s part. We are probing from all possible angles,” said a senior police officer.
Meanwhile, one of his relatives, alleged negligence on the part of the airlines. “How is it possible that Rohit died while doing maintenance work? They took time to pull him out. There was definitely callousness on the part of the airline company,” the relative said on the condition of anonymity.
In 2015, an Air India service engineer was killed after he got sucked into the live engine of an Aibus A319 aircraft at the Mumbai airport.