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Accident caused employee’s death, says Air Deccan

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Grief-stricken: Sheila Ambastha, mother of Sanskriti, being consoled by a relative at their home in Patna on Tuesday.
Grief-stricken: Sheila Ambastha, mother of Sanskriti, being consoled by a relative at their home in Patna on Tuesday.

Parul Sharma

Sanskriti was knocked down by a vehicle at New Delhi airport

NEW DELHI: An Air Deccan woman employee, found dead in the domestic wing of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here on Monday night, was knocked down by a vehicle, an airline official said on Tuesday.

Sanskriti Sinha (27), a senior technician, was found dead around 10 p.m. between the taxi-way and the ramp area.

“The doctors who conducted the post mortem examination on Tuesday said it was an accident. There was no jet blast as suggested by some people. The crime team that inspected the spot claimed that the accident was caused by a light vehicle,” said Taufeeq Mohammad, Security In-charge (Northern Region), Air Deccan.

Accusing the Airports Authority of India of “negligence” Mr. Mohammad said: “Sanskriti was walking from the engineering hangar to attend to an aircraft parked nearby. The unknown vehicle, it seems, violated traffic rules and took a right turn from there and hit her. It was a case of reckless driving because of which we lost a family member.”

The airline said Sanskriti fully complied with all safety requirements and was wearing a high visibility jacket.

For its part, Delhi International Airport (P) Limited said: “We run extensive training programmes for all vehicle drivers at the airport. In addition, periodic refresher programmes and random checks are initiated to ensure compliance with norms. DIAL has also appointed airside monitoring inspectors to keep vigil on safety compliance and violators of norms are strictly penalised. Dedicated vehicular movement lanes have been created for smooth flow of airside traffic. Speed limits for specific areas have been defined as per international norms.”

Mr. Mohammad said the airline’s security and police were carrying out further investigations.

A forensic team of the Delhi police on Tuesday and lifted tyre marks for matching. It is trying to find out which vehicles were allowed in that area during the time of the accident to zero in on the vehicle involved.

Sanskriti’s family is based in Patna.

Her uncle, Kalyan Mohan, who lives in adjoining Faridabad, rejected rumours of suicide or foul play.

“From the nature of the injuries, it looks like a case of accident. She had to travel with my family to Jaipur last week but had to cancel it due to some work. We were on the verge of finalising her marriage. Her engagement was to take place in Bangalore this week.”

The body, along with two relatives and as many employees, was flown to Patna on Tuesday evening.

Family’s charge

K. Balchand reports from Patna:

Sanskriti’s family members are upset at Air Deccan not keeping it informed of the developments.

Her father Arun Kumar Sinha said it was his daughter’s roommate who informed him of the incident. Fifteen minutes later, the Air Deccan Special Manager and a woman captain told him that Sanskriti met with an accident on the ramp and that she died on the spot.

Mr. Sinha and his son Guddu say Air Deccan officials did not contact them thereafter. In the absence of any information from the authorities, Sanskriti’s family members have been relying on the media and their relatives for information.

Mr. Sinha wondered why nobody noticed the accident for so long. Had someone acted in time she could have been saved.

“No one is telling us why the accident occurred and how? Why is it that the culprit hasn’t been nabbed and the vehicle identified? From what we infer, the tyre marks were that of a small vehicle,” Guddu said.


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