Plane Crash : Kudos for volunteers for their rescue operations


Kozhikode, (UNI)

It was all on a sudden that tens of youths living in and around the Kunnumpuram-Kondotty cross road, bordering the Calicut international Airport in Karipur near here, jumped out from their monotony of a dull and dark evening with heavy showers pouring besides containment of the area on account of the Covid-19 protocol compelling them remain indoors, and get neck deep into an unprecedented and hours long rescue operations.

And none of them would ever forget the black Friday evening of August 7 which witnessed the crashing of an Air Indian Express flight offshoot from the runway and slips down to a 120-feet valley resulting in the splitting of the carrier into two on its belly by around 8 p.m.

The accident that claimed 18 lives including its pilot and co-pilot and injured others, 23 of them seriously, is considered the biggest ever air mishap in the aviation history of Kerala.

Neither any of the 184 passengers who after a long wait got an entry in a repatriation flight as part of Central Government’s Vande Bharat Mission and boarding the IX134 Air India Express flight from Dubai and its six-member crew that met with a tragic accident that claimed 18 lives including its pilot and co-pilot and injuring others might have imagined that the night would rewrite their live story forever.

Some of the locals who were involved in the rescue operations in the heavy showers amidst the Covie19 pandemic and few among the injured share the memories of the black Friday of August 7.

“Though it was the bad visibility and rain with stormy winds which according to my understanding that contributed for the accident, the same weather also helped from containing the mishap without a fire and limiting the casualties to 18, said and state Government official who was on duty at the airport to receive the passengers arriving at the airport in Vande Bharat Mission”

“I heard a loud noise and screaming and was quick to reach the spot to see a jumbo flight crash on the Kondotty-Airport cross road”, Abhilash, one of the locals who reached the accident spot around 8 last night has said.

I rushed to a man screaming and pushed him out to rescue him from the flight that was broken into two or three parts. But I was shocked when his severed hand got out of his body”, he said.

Natives of Vatakara, Ramshad and his family did not know what really happened other than their flight shaking and falling into a depth. Though he was injured, his wife Sufaira and four-year old daughter Saidasherin escaped without any serious injuries.

Ashraf, native of east Kozhikode, now under treatment at the Medical college hospital here still has not recovered from the shock he had in the tragic accident.

A selfie by a Malappuram native Shareefuddin with his wife and three-year-old daughter has been taking rounds in the social media.

Sharifuddin and family wearing PPE kits were taken before the Air India express flight took off from Dubai. Shareefuddin has succumbed to injuries and his seriously injured wife is under treatment in a Kozhikode hospital. The girl child however is safe with very minor injuries.

Another injured who is admitted to a private hospital here said the heavy rains had made the airplane fly back to the air and then land after a few minutes. But there was some turbulence felt and soon the flight slipped down to the valley, which I realised only after coming out of it.

As soon as the flight crash, the emergency door was opened and people jumped out to safety, he remembers adding that no fire emitted from anywhere which helped contain casualties.

Sharing the heart-felt experience, Dr Shimna Azeer, a doctor of a private hospital in Malappuram, who attended few of the injured brought to the hospital said she was astonished by the manner in which the volunteers from the accident spot and around who brought the injured.

“Inspite of the restrictions imposed due to the containment of the zone and the heavy downpour that lashed since evening, the volunteers did a fantastic job, forgetting all protocols of social distancing or wearing masks which were fully wet during the course of rescue operations”

The volunteers were around the spot until midnight of Friday and dispersed off only after the authorities confirmed that all the 191 souls who were on board were found and shifted to hospitals.

The presence of mind of the locals who dashed in for the rescue operations leaving behind all apprehensions over the Covid19 pandemic in the area which is under containment has been highly appreciated by many from around the globe.