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A Boeing Whistleblower Has Being Found Dead After An Apparent Suicide

Boeing Whistleblower John Barnett Found Dead In US

A former Boeing employee who blew the whistle on potential safety issues at the aircraft manufacturing company was recently declared dead.

John Barnett, 62, died Saturday from an apparent “self-inflicted” wound, according to a coroner in South Carolina, United States.

Brian Knowles and Robert Turkewitz, lawyers for Barnett, claimed their client was in the middle of a deposition in a lawsuit against Boeing after facing harassment and a hostile work environment for disclosing major safety issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

“He was in good spirits and eager to put this chapter of his life behind him and move on.” “We didn’t see any indication he would take his own life,” Knowles and Turkewitz told Al Jazeera in a statement, describing Barnett as a “brave, honest man with the highest integrity.”

“No one can believe it.  We are all devasted. We need more information about what happened to John. The Charleston police need to investigate this fully and accurately and tell the public what they find out. No detail can be left unturned.”

Boeing, where Barnett worked for nearly three decades before retiring in 2017, expressed condolences on the news of his death.

“We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends,” the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer told Al Jazeera in a statement.

In 2019, the BBC quoted Barnett as claiming that Boeing purposefully supplied planes with faulty equipment and that passengers on the 787 Dreamliner could be left without oxygen in the case of a catastrophic decompression.

Boeing refuted Barnett’s assertions at the time, stating that it followed the greatest safety requirements.

In 2014, an Al Jazeera investigation aired after the Dreamliner was briefly grounded due to two battery problems revealed that workers at Boeing’s Charleston plant were concerned about the aircraft’s safety.

Boeing, which, along with Airbus of the Netherlands, controls the commercial aircraft market, has been under increasing scrutiny for its safety record following two tragic incidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX in 2018 and 2019.

On Monday, dozens of people were injured, the majority of them minor, when their Boeing aircraft en route to New Zealand from Australia experienced what airline officials described as a “strong movement” caused by a “technical event.”

The incident was the latest in a string of safety-related incidents since the beginning of March, including an engine fire that caused a Boeing 737 to make an emergency landing in Houston, Texas, shortly after taking off.

On Saturday, US media outlets reported that prosecutors had opened a criminal investigation into January’s mid-flight blowout of a Boeing 737 MAX operated by Alaska Airlines.

The US National Transportation Safety Board’s early investigation into the accident uncovered evidence that four critical bolts were missing to keep the door in place.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week that it had given Boeing 90 days to develop a plan to correct shortcomings in its production and shortage procedures after an audit identified “non-compliance issues”.

A separate FAA inspection released last month showed significant weaknesses in Boeing’s safety culture, including employee fear of retaliation for reporting safety concerns.

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