A devastating incident at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) claimed the life of a cab driver and injured eight others on Friday. The partial collapse of a canopy at the old departure forecourt of Terminal 1 (T1) occurred during the capital’s record-breaking June showers.

The deceased, Ramesh Kumar, 45, left his Rohini home for his daily work routine as a cab driver. His son, Ravinder, received a phone call around 8:30 am informing him that his father had fainted. However, the heartbreaking truth of Kumar’s death was only revealed to Ravinder hours later, at around 4 pm.

The torrential rains were blamed for the partial collapse of the T1 canopy, which tragically struck Kumar’s car among four other vehicles. Ravinder expressed his grief and frustration at being kept unaware of his father’s passing for so long. “They kept me at IGI police station until 4 pm. I didn’t know where my father was until then,” he stated.

Another individual who narrowly escaped the catastrophe was cab driver Santosh Yadav, 28. While waiting at the airport with a passenger, the sudden collapse forced him and his client to flee for safety, leaving their car behind. “A concrete part hit my head and it split,” recounted Yadav, who received medical attention at both Medanta Hospital (T1) and Safdarjung Hospital.

The incident also left several others injured, including airport staff member Yogesh Dhawan (44), houseboy Arvind (34), and Dashrath Ahirwar (25). The injured were treated at various hospitals like ESI Hospital, Basai Dhara, and Safdarjung Hospital.

As investigations into the cause of the collapse commence, a ray of hope emerged for Kumar’s family. Union Civil Aviation Minister Ram Mohan Naidu expressed his condolences: “It is a very unfortunate incident that happened at the Terminal 1 of Delhi Airport, which killed one. We extend our condolences to the family of the deceased. All the injured are undergoing treatment. One of them has been discharged. A Rs 20 lakh compensation will be given to the family of the deceased and Rs 3 lakh compensation will be given to the injured.”

The Delhi Airport Authority (DIAL) has formed a Technical Committee to probe the incident and expedite a report. Meanwhile, operations at T1 were partially affected, with arrivals continuing until 10:30 am and subsequent flights being cancelled or rescheduled to Terminals 2 and 3.