Akbar Ansari, a passenger who was injured due to turbulence in a SpiceJet flight in early May, passed away last month.
Family members of Ansari, who was 48 years old, said he was on ventilator support for more than a month before succumbing to injuries on September 26.
On May 1, SpiceJet’s Mumbai-Durgapur flight encountered severe turbulence during its descent phase, injuring 14 passengers and three cabin crew members.
The family members alleged that Ansari did not receive proper treatment.
According to the death certificate issued by the Mission Hospital at Durgapur on September 29, Akbar Ansari, age 48, died of “sepsis in shock” caused by polytrauma with Spinal injury.”
SpiceJet on Saturday said that “a passenger who was injured during the severe turbulence encountered by SpiceJet flight on May 1, 2022 sadly passed away last month.”
The company “extended” all possible assistance including taking care of the passenger’s medical and hospital expenses, it stated in the statement and added that “the Compensation is being paid as per norms.”
Two of the injured passengers — one with a head injury and another with a spinal injury – were admitted to the ICU ward of a hospital in Durgapur (West Bengal), aviation safety regulator DGCA said in a statement in May. This is reportedly the second death of a passenger in India due to severe flight turbulence.
In 1980, an Indian Airlines flight experienced severe turbulence in West Bengal’s Rampurhat, killing two out of 132 people, as per reports.
Recalling the incident on May 1, Akhtar Ansari, Akbar’s brother said, “I was seated in the middle and Akbar (Ansari) on the side seat. All of a sudden, a storm-like situation hit our aircraft and we felt a jerk. There was chaos in the cabin”.
He claimed that the cabin crew did not provide proper warning about turbulence.
“Unfortunately, the seat belt of my brother broke in the very first jerk. We were trying to hold him but the jerks were so severe that we could not hold him. He was badly injured,” Akhtar, who runs a cloth stitching unit in Dharawi locality in Mumbai, said.
Ansari had suffered a spinal fracture in the incident.
In the statement issued on Saturday, SpiceJet also said that the seat belt sign was on when the aircraft had encountered turbulence.
“Multiple announcements were made by the pilots and crew instructing passengers to remain seated and keep their seat belt fastened, which was unfortunately not followed by some passengers resulting in injuries,” SpiceJet said in its statement on Sunday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)