Jijo George Envoy Air maintenance worker at Chicago O’Hare airport crushed to death by plane equipment. Incident deemed accident as investigation is underway.
A Chicago airport worker has died after being crushed to death by plane equipment on Sunday.
Jijo George, 35, an Envoy Air maintenance mechanic, was found unresponsive beneath an ‘aircraft drivable pushback apparatus’ vehicle at around 2 p.m., the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Des Plaines employee of Indian heritage died less than two hours later at Chicago’s Resurrection Medical Center, the paper said.
Authorities determined the man’s death ‘an accident,’ though an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor is underway.
The husband and father of a two year old boy was expecting a second child in the next month, Chicago Indian community organizer Nisha Eric told the Sun Times. The family had moved to Chicago from Pathanapuram, Kerala, with Jijo first emigrating to the United States, 17 years ago.
‘He was taking care of everyone’
The man earned an associates degree in mechanical engineering and landed a job as a mechanic at Envoy Air at O’Hare International Airport about two years ago, his family said.
Jijo George was the main provider for his Des Plaines household, which also included his parents and brother’s family according to his cousin, Blesson George.
‘He was taking care of everyone,’ the relative said. ‘They lost the person who had been taking care of them. They’re all crying. … Life was about to get better for him, and that’s when this happened to him.’
Jijo George’s family was given few details about his death from Envoy Air, the relative told the Sun Times.
‘That’s the hardest part,’ Blesson George told the media outlet. ‘The only thing we heard from them is that he got in an accident.’
Jijo’s employer eventually released a statement saying the incident was an accident.
‘We are providing support to the family and our employees to help them through this loss,’ Envoy Air spokeswoman Minnette Vélez-Conty said in a statement.
‘Currently, the situation is under investigation by our safety organization. We reiterate our commitment to safety and security as we conscientiously maintain policies, processes and systems to achieve the highest levels of safety in the workplace.’
It remained unclear what safety standards and protocol were in place and whether they were being consistently followed at the time of Sunday’s ‘mishap.’
A fundraiser for the man’s family by Tuesday night had raised $41,545 of a $75,000 goal.