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AAIB probing female flight attendant's fall from AI plane

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has begun a probe into the mishap where a 53-year-old female flight attendant fell from a stationary Air India plane while closing its door at the Mumbai airport, an official said Tuesday.

The flight attendant, who suffered serious injuries in the incident Monday, is stable and her right leg requires multiple surgeries, said authorities at the city-based Nanavati Hospital where she is being treated.

The wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft was Monday preparing to depart for New Delhi when Harsha Lobo fell on the tarmac from a height of 20 feet, apparently through a gap between the rear door and the step ladder.

She suffered multiple fractures in her legs and was rushed to the Nanavati Hospital.

"The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has taken over the probe into the incident at the Mumbai airport in which a female flight attendant had fallen off from the Boeing 777 aircraft Monday morning," a senior official in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI.

AAIB is the apex aircraft investigation body under the Civil Aviation Ministry and has the mandate to probe accidents/serious incidents relating to aircrafts registered in India.

"The incident is being treated as serious and for this reason, the AAIB has been asked to carry out a probe," the official added.

On Monday, a DGCA official had said the aviation regulator is probing the incident.

In addition, Air India's safety wing is also investigating the causes that led to the incident, which took place at the city's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here when the airline's flight AI 864 was getting ready for departure to Delhi.

Meanwhile, authorities at the Nanavati Hospital said the flight attendant's health condition is stable.

She is responding to the treatment. "Her right leg requires multiple surgeries in the next few days," the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital had said Monday that she had right leg compound fracture, fractures in both heels and soft tissue injury in chest, abdomen and lower spine. She also suffered a sprain in the neck (cervical spine).

An official of the airline said earlier that though full investigation will establish the reasons for the incident, "prima facie it seems there was a gap between the aircraft gate and the step ladder, through which she slipped off 20 feet down on the tarmac".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 16 2018. 16:00 IST