Team formed to fix responsibility for IIA bridge collapse
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By Mohammad Asghar | 10/16/2018 12:00:00 AM
RAWALPINDI: A four-member inquiry board investigating the collapse of a passenger boarding bridge at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA) on Oct 9 has been looking into various aspects including human error and improper maintenance.

Shortly af ter the incident, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Hassan Baig constituted the committee to investigate the accident and fix responsibility.

Passenger bridges are also known as jet bridges and are enclosed passageways extended from airport terminals to airplanes.

The inquiry board is headed by CAA Deputy DG Syed Amir Mehboob and includes IIA Director Expansion Project Sadiqur Rehman, Bacha Khan International Airport Peshawar (BKIA) manager Omaidur Rehman and BKIA Senior Director Kamal Khan.

Required to submit its report by Oct 22, the team has started investigating dif ferent aspects after examining the wreckage of the collapsed passenger bridge which has not been removed and has been covered with a plastic sheet.

Passenger Bridge No 5 collapsed moments af ter it was disconnected from a Gulf Airways plane which had started taxiing at the airport on Oct 9, 2018.

The inquiry board is to ascertain the damage and cost to the CAA, to evaluate the performance and stability of other passenger bridges and to verify if the operator who was handling Bridge No 5 was properly trained and qualified for the job.

According to sources, the inquiry team has been questioning handlers of passenger bridges, including the handler who was operating the collapsed bridge.

The sources said the inquiry team will also cross examine those involved in the maintenance of passenger bridges.

The team is accompanied by engineers who examined the damaged bridge, its joints and other parts to ascertain the cause of its collapse.

Sources said that preliminary inquiries suggest the passenger bridge did not have proper routine maintenance which may have caused its collapse.

However, the final report by the four member committee is under process and will be submitted on Oct 22.

All the passengers had boarded the plane and the bridge had been removed from the aircraf t when the accident happened. However, two people including the bridge operator and a loader were injured.

An aviation expert suspected that the apparent cause of the collapse could be the hooks or pins connecting the passenger bridge to another part of the bridge and that the wobbling pins may not have been able to maintain the balance.

The inquiry team has also been tasked with verifying the past record of equipment use and the maintenance record.