DUBAI // The man who died after jumping from the Burj Khalifa yesterday was identified today as a 38-year-old construction foreman from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
The Indian consulate gave his name as Athiraman Kannan and said he worked at Arabtec in the Burj Khalifa. Multiple sources inside Arabtec confirmed he committed suicide after asking for leave. Several sources said he was denied leave, but a company official, who did not wish to be identified, said that was incorrect.
“He was not denied leave," the official said. "At no point was he denied leave.
“He said he wanted to go on leave and it was approved verbally. When he came into work, he was OK. He was fine at 7.40am. At 8.30 he was emotionally distressed.”
Bur Dubai Police Station Chief Col Ali Ghanim said Mr Kannan was a construction foreman in an area where finishing work was being done.
"I would like to call upon the public to avoid unconfirmed rumors; people said that he had a problem with his company, but we have checked and found out that he has had psychological problems," he said.
"He was working with our company since 2000, according to official records," said a source from the company, who declined to be named. "His brother died in December and he had gone on emergency leave for 15 days then. His annual leave was due, but he was apparently refused leave."
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The Indian consulate said officials there were in touch with Dubai authorities.
"The Consulate is in touch with the concerned authorities and will extend all assistance in sending the mortal remains to his family after completion of the required formalities," a press statement said.
The consulate also listed Mr Kannan's occupation as being a cleaner; both the police and Arabtec said he was a foreman.
Police initially said Mr Kannan jumped from an air vent on the 147th floor and landed on the 108th. Today, Col Ghanim said the vent was on the 148th floor and the body landed on the observation deck at the 124th floor after bouncing off metalwork on the tower.
The deck was "closed for maintenance" last night, according to a representative at the observatory.
Floors 45 to 108 of the tower are private residences, and most of the remaining floors are used as corporate suites. The At the Top public observatory is on the 124th floor, and the restaurant At.mosphere is on floor 122.
In a statement, Emaar Properties said: “At around 9am [on Tuesday] an incident involving a male was reported at the Burj Khalifa site. The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report.”
A police investigation is continuing.
* With additional reporting from Awad Mustafa and Ramola Talwar