Airline Worker Sucked Into Plane Engine
He was standing near plane's nose when pilot turned on engine
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2015 9:23 AM CST
File photo of Air India planes parked on the tarmac in New Delhi.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)

(Newser) – You can add being sucked into an airplane engine to the list of ways you'd rather not end up 6 feet under. Airport authorities are investigating the death of a 56-year-old Air India employee who met such a fate at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on Wednesday, reports the Indian Express. Air India's chairman tells the AP that a pilot of an A319 misread a signal and switched on an engine as the plane was being towed from a gate before takeoff. The engine then sucked in maintenance engineer Ravi Subramanium and killed him instantly, reports the Times of India. He'd been supervising the move near the nose of the plane, 30 feet away from the engine. "The body is still stuck in the engine, efforts are going on to retrieve it," an official tells the Hindustan Times.

Airport officials were following an irregular engine startup procedure at the time because the aircraft's auxiliary power unit wasn't working, reports the Times of India. Still, "ground staff and technicians know quite well the area that should be kept clear in front of the engines," says an airline official. "We are absolutely clueless on how this person was near the aircraft," an Air India official tells the Hindustan paper. "Only an inquiry can establish whose negligence it was." It isn't clear if any of the 100 passengers on board the plane saw what happened, though some were reportedly traumatized by the news.