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Boeing whistleblower John Barrett found dead in US

His death comes days after he gave evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the company

John Barrett, an ex-employee at Boeing whistleblower , who was known for raising concerns about the company’s production standards has been found dead in the United States. As per investigation, the 62-year-old died from a self-inflicting wound on 9th March. His death comes days after he gave evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the company.

The company said that it was saddened by the news of John’s passing. In a statement Boeing said: “We are saddened by Mr. Barnett’s passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

John Barrett had worked for Boeing for 32 years and retired in 2017 because of health conditions. From 2010, he worked as a quality manager at the North Charleston plant making the 787 Dreamliner, a state-of-the-art airliner used mainly on long-haul routes.

It was in 2019 that he spoke to BBC and revealed that under pressure workers had been deliberately fitting sub-standard parts to the airplane on the assembly line to prevent delays. He also said that he had uncovered serious problems with oxygen systems, which could mean that only one in four breathing masks would not work in an emergency.

He also told BBC that the workers failed to follow procedures intended to track components through the factory, allowing defective components to go missing.

Barrett had also claimed that he had informed his managers about his concerns but no action was taken. While Boeing denied these allegations, a 2017 review by the US regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), did uphold some of Mr Barnett’s concerns.

On the oxygen cylinders issue, the company said that in 2017 it had “identified some oxygen bottles received from the supplier that were not deploying properly”.

Last week, John gave a formal deposition in which he was questioned by Boeing’s lawyers, before being cross-examined by his own counsel. He had been due to undergo further questioning on Saturday. When he did not appear, enquiries were made at his hotel where he was subsequently found dead in his truck in the hotel car park.

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