A man died after being sucked into the engine of a passenger jet at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in India on Wednesday evening.
Air India identified the man as one of their technicians, and said the incident happened while flight AI 619 from Mumbai to Hyderabad was being pushed backwards onto the runway.
Managing director Ashawani Lohani said he was "deeply saddened" by the "tragic incident." The airline tweeted its condolences to the family of the technician, and described the incident — which is being investigated — as a "mishap."
Speaking to the Indian Express, Lohani said: "The flight was already boarded. It was ready for takeoff. While it was pushing back [being towed backwards before taxiing] to come on the airstrip, he was working on the ground. His body got entangled in the engine."
An airport official who spoke to the Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity reportedly said that they were "absolutely clueless on how this person was near the aircraft."
"Only an inquiry can establish whose negligence it was and whether the engine should have been switched on at that time,” they said.
The official added the body was still stuck in the engine as of Thursday.
Several investigations into the case have been launched independently by Air India, local police, the civil aviation directorate, and other authorities, according to the Hindustan Times.
A similar incident happened in Chennai in the late 1990s, when a bird scarer who was running towards the plane got sucked in as the jet prepared for takeoff.