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Second Boeing whistleblower dies from “infection” after colleague dies from gunshot wound

Second Boeing whistleblower dies
Boeing Whistleblower Joshua Dean Dies After Sudden Illness. —X/Reuters

Joshua Dean, a former quality auditor for Boeing Spirit supplier AeroSystems who made headlines after blowing the whistle on safety problems and alleged misconduct at the plane maker, died Tuesday after a serious infection, his family said Thursday.

It is very worrying to note that Dean is the second whistleblower linked to Boeing to lose his life in two months after accusing the airline industry giant of covering up technical flaws in one of its planes.

Dean was one of the first to allege that the manufacturer knowingly overlooked defects in the famous 737 MAX, which may have caused aviation accidents.

The complainant died after a “sudden, brief illness,” the Seattle Times reports.

Dean, 45, of Wichita, Kansas, was healthy and fit, according to the family, when he began complaining of breathing problems about two weeks ago.

He was rushed to a hospital, according to the Seattle Times, which reported his death. “Dean’s deterioration from that point on was “brutal” and “heartbreaking,” his aunt told the newspaper.

Dean’s mysterious death follows the disappearance of fellow complainant John Barnett, who died from a gunshot wound that police are still investigating.

Both complainants were represented by the same South Carolina-based law firm.

After Barnett died in Charleston, the same South Carolina city where Boeing has its 787 manufacturing plant, the coroner in his report stated that the complainant died from a “self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

“They found him in his truck. I don’t know what to say. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life,” one of his attorneys, Brian Knowles, told reporters.

Boeing in a statement said: “The company was saddened by Barnett’s death.”

Knowles declined to speculate on the “timing and surrounding circumstances” of the two deaths.

“Whistleblowers are needed. They expose irregularities and corruption in the interest of society. It takes a lot of courage to stand up,” Knowles said.

“It’s a difficult set of circumstances. Our thoughts now are with John’s family and Josh’s family.”