Athiraman Kannan, a 38-year-old man from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, died by suicide from the 147th floor of the Burj Khalifa on 10 May 2011.
His death was reported by various news agencies on the following day and confirmed by the Director of the Dubai Police Station, as well as Emaar Properties.
Why wasn’t Laura’s suicide reported and confirmed within days of her death? Why was it concealed? And why, after the Daily Mail expose of Laura’s death on 18 May 2015, did the Dubai Police deny that she had fallen from the Burj Khalifa, saying instead that she had fallen to her death from her 14th floor apartment at Jumeirah Lakes Towers which is 24.6km away from the Burj Khalifa. She wasn’t staying at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers. She had been staying at the Abidos Hotel Apartments in Dubailand, and the Coroner’s Report stated that her body was found on the 3rd floor of the Burj Khalifa.
There are conflicting statements about the floor from which Athiraman fell. Initially reported as the 147th floor, then changed to the 148th floor. Wikipedia states the 147th floor.
At the time of Athiraman’s death the At the Top Sky observation deck on the 148th floor, was not open to the public. It was officially opened on 15 October 2014, scarcely a month before my daughter died by suicide from the deck.
‘A Burj Khalifa resident, on conditions of anonymity, told Emirates 24/7 that the concierge and staff have been quiet and are not speaking about the matter. There are some balconies which are open with just a railing’.
Safety and security at risk?
Why is everyone too scared to talk?
After Laura’s death, the Dubai Police asked Emaar Properties to make the gaps, from which she fell, smaller, which they did. It was highly irresponsible of Emaar to have gaps on the deck large enough for an adult woman to slip through, and at the time of her death, tourists were sticking half their bodies out of the gap to take selfies. Someone could have slipped to their death.
From one of the reports: It is the first known suicide.
More questions: have there been other suicides from the 148th floor which have been successfully concealed by the Dubai government? Why was Laura’s death covered up, and Athiraman’s suicide made public?
I have highlighted relevant facts taken from extracts from different news agencies in the UAE and have made comments underneath each report. I have also included the section in Wikipedia in which his death has been reported.
The news was released within hours of Athiraman’s death, and confirmed by the Dubai Police, Emaar Properties, and Gulf News.
Man dies jumping off Burj Khalifa
10 May 2011, 5:25 PM
A 30-year-old Indian died falling off Burj Khalifa today afternoon in an apparent suicide Dubai Police have confirmed.
According to the eyewitnesses, the man jumped from the 147th floor of the building and fell on the 102nd floor dying after a few minutes.
Emaar Properties, which owns and manages Burj Khalifa, and a resident confirmed the report to Emirates 24/7
It is the first known suicide from the landmark tower, which opened in January 2010.
Emaar Properties said in a statement: “At around 9am today, 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 Burj Khalifa resident, on conditions of anonymity, told Emirates 24/7 that the concierge and staff have been quiet and are not speaking about the matter. There are some balconies which are open with just a railing.
A report by Preeti Kannan.
Last Updated: May 11, 2011
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.”
He took off his shoes and left a diary nearby before climbing out an air vent on the 148th floor, Col Ghanim said.
“I would like to call upon the public to avoid unconfirmed rumours; people said that he had problems with his company, but we have checked and found out that he has 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.”
The Indian consulate said officials were in touch with Dubai authorities.
The consulate also listed Mr Kennan’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
Police confirm Burj Khalifa death was suicide
Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011
By Parag Deulgaonkar www.emirates247.com
Dubai Police have confirmed that the Asian youth, who jumped to his death from Burj Khalifa, had indeed committed suicide.
Col Ali Ahmed Ghanem, Director of Dubai Police Station, said the Asian, who worked as a foreman with a contracting company, committed suicide when he jumped from the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa.
From Wikipedia, under Incidents
Within 17 months of the building’s official opening, a man described as “an Asian in his mid-30s” who worked at one of the companies in the tower, died by suicide on 10 May 2011 by jumping from the 147th floor. He fell 39 floors, landing on a deck on the 108th floor. Dubai police confirmed the act as a suicide, reporting that “[they] also came to know that the man decided to commit suicide as his company refused to grant leave.