“If he had been provided safety gear, he would still be alive… he had no helmet on.”
For the family of Air India senior engineer Ram Prakash Singh, his fall to death while servicing an aircraft at Delhi Airport’s Terminal 3 has left them shattered.
The 56-year-old had been working for 20 years with Air India Engineer Services Limited (AISEL). According to police, Singh sustained severe head injuries after he slipped from the stairs and fell headfirst from a height of 9-10 feet while servicing the aircraft. Police also found that the company did not provide him required safety equipment as per protocol and lodged a case of negligence.
A resident of Palam Colony, Singh is survived by his wife and two sons — Vinay, who works at a private firm, and Nitin, a software engineer. Speaking to The Indian Express, Vinay said, “We don’t know if my father was provided the required safety equipment or not… all we want is justice… our family is in shock… we are not aware of any negligence.”
Singh’s brother-in-law, requesting anonymity, questioned if he had been provided any safety gear at all.
Meanwhile, an Air India spokesperson said they are in touch with the deceased’s family. On the alleged negligence, the spokesperson was not available for comment.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express, “Generally, ground crew who carry out servicing and maintenance work of the aircraft are provided safety vests and helmets on duty. But we found that no such equipment was provided to the deceased at the time of the incident.”
Police had received a PCR call from Manipal Hospital in Dwarka that a patient, who turned out to be Singh, had sustained severe head injuries from a fall. He was later declared dead.
DCP (IGI) Devesh Kumar Mahla said that during inquiry, it was found that Singh was on the night shift on November 6-7. “When he was servicing a plane at Terminal 3, he slipped from the stairs and fell,” the DCP said.
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Air India staff sent him to Medanta Hospital and later took him to Manipal Hospital, where he was declared dead. Singh’s postmortem was carried out at Safdarjung Hospital Wednesday.
Said an officer, “We have lodged a case under IPC section 304A (causing death by negligence) and 287 (negligent conduct with respect to machinery) against unknown persons. After the incident, we spoke to the deceased’s colleagues and found that most of them were not provided with safety gear.”
Officers said they will serve a notice to Air India, seeking information on the safety gear provided to their employees on ground and regarding the lapses found. “Based on the information provided by the airline, officials with sufficient role will be bound down,” said the officer.