Indigo said floor cracks in the airport was the primary cause behind the mishap. (File photo)
Two days after Indigo apologised for an incident in which a passenger fell off her wheelchair while being assisted by an employee, the airline today said the mishap resulted from a crack in the floor at the airport. The Airport Authority of India or AAI, however, termed the cause as incorrect and said the reason behind the mishap was "gross negligence of Indigo staff".
The AAI has issued two statements in connection with the incident.
Indigo had recently come under attack after a video of a man being manhandled
by an employee of the airline surfaced, drawing public criticism. The airline had later issued an apology for the incident.
Indigo today issued another apology involving the wheelchair bound passenger, Urvashi Parikh Viren.
"Our Indigo representative was pushing her wheelchair towards the arrival hall. As he was guiding her wheelchair through a vehicular lane, which was dimly lit at that time of the night, her wheelchair got stuck in a deep crack on the tarmac and lost balance and she fell off her wheelchair," an Indigo spokesperson said.
It also claimed that the passenger was kind enough to say that it wasn't a human error and that the airline should deal with the staff with empathy.
However, the AAI denied the presence of any cracks on the tarmac adding that the area was rather well lit.
"The reasons given by Indigo of the wheelchair getting stuck into the crack on the road and claims of dim light are not correct as there is no crack on the tarmac and the area (baggage makeup area, near the airside conveyor belt) has sufficient illumination," an AAI spokesperson said.
The AAI also said the incident happened due to gross negligence of Indigo staff as he chose the wrong path on the tarmac and mishandled the passenger.
"The IndiGo loader ferrying the passenger in wheelchair, went in the wrong direction by taking a short cut ignoring the defined path. As per the airport's CCTV footage, six wheelchairs were required and used for the above mentioned flight. While, two loaders took the defined and proper path towards the arrival hall, four loaders took a short cut to the arrival hall of the terminal building," the AAI said.
The airport body also provided a sequence of events that led to the passenger on Indigo's Mumbai-Lucknow flight (6E-446) getting injured.
"The passenger placed her walking stick on the road while the loader was still pushing the wheelchair. This resulted in the unfortunate incident of the passenger falling from the wheelchair," the spokesperson said.(With PTI inputs)