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Air India technician dies after being sucked into engine

An Indian man was killed instantly after being sucked into an airplane engine at an airport in Mumbai. The tragedy comes amid a string of incidents and mishaps to hit Air India, the man's employer.

An Air India technician died late Wednesday after he was sucked into an aircraft engine as the plane readied for take-off from an airport in Mumbai.

The co-pilot of flight AI 619 misunderstood a signal from the ground crew and started the aircraft's engines in preparation to push back from a gate at Mumbai's main Chhatrapati Shivaji airport.

Technician Ravi Subramanian was then sucked into the engine, killing him instantly, the Press Trust of India reported.

The company's chairman and managing director, Ashwani Lohani, described the incident as tragic, stating, "We are deeply saddened and regret the tragic incident."

"The incident is being investigated. Our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family," Lohani added.

Mishaps and controversies

Air India - the country's national carrier - has not reported an annual profit since 2007 following a series of mishaps and technical glitches, including cabin crew showing up late for flights, according to the AFP news agency.

In September, the company decided to ground 125 cabin crewmembers for failure to keep their weight down, a move reportedly in line with Air India's prerequisites for flight duty.

The Asian carrier also made headlines in April after two pilots began fighting shortly before their flight was to take off.

ls/sms (AFP, AP)

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