Airport traffic controller in suspected suicide

An air traffic controller at Male’ International Airport was found dead at 4:00am this morning after apparently hanging himself from the control tower.

The man, identified by newspaper Haveeru as 26 year-old Ismail Mohamed Didi, was discovered after airport workers received no response from the tower’s phone.

The case was reported to police around 5:00am. Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam confirmed the body was found hanging from the tower but said it was too early to confirm whether the death was a suicide.

“His body was first taken to Hulhumale’ hospital and now he is in Indira Gandi Memorial Hospital (IGMH),” he said. “We are investigating the case.”

Spokesperson for the Maldives Airports Company (MACL) Rahmathulla Ashraf told Haveeru that the company could only comment once the police investigation was concluded.

“We are also waiting for the findings of the investigation,” he said.

Rahmathulla claimed the incident did not disrupt the operations of the control tower.

A source familiar with the victim said Didi was a junior air traffic controller who performed his job well.

The source said Didi had been an air traffic controller for 6-7 years and had recently worked at Kaadedhoo airport in Huvadhu atoll.

“He went up the control tower around 3:00am, a quiet time when there is no air traffic,” said the source.

“People at the airport received no response from the tower, so they went up to check and found him hanging there.”