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Air India Crash: Braving Rains & COVID19, Malappuram Locals Rescued The Injured

Air India Crash: Braving Rains & COVID19, Malappuram Locals Rescued The Injured

“The crash was confirmed at 8 p.m. Immediately my friends and I took out our vehicle and rushed to the site,” #AirIndiaCrash

Last evening, at 7.40 pm, an Air India Express flight carrying 190 people from Dubai attempted to make a landing on the runway at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport. In an unfortunate turn of events owing majorly to the incessant rains, the plane skidded off the runway and fell into a 35-feet valley, ultimately splitting into two.

This horrific incident shocked people in the state and across the country, who could only hope and pray for the safety of the passengers. The Malappuram District Collector informed that the death toll is 18 currently. Captain Deepak Sathe and First Officer Akhilesh Kumar were among those who lost their lives in the tragic crash.

Source: Locals from the neighbouring areas rush to the site to evacuate the passengers

Scores of people from the neighbouring areas braved the rains and the fear of COVID-19 to reach the site. These locals helped in the evacuation of the passengers in less than two hours.

The residents mainly were from neighbouring areas like Karipur and Kondotty in the Malappuram district. Manan* (name changed on request), a resident of Kondotty recalls the loud sound that he heard around 7.40 pm last evening.

“Initially when we heard the loud sound, we thought that perhaps it could have been a major landslide,” says the 22-year-old student. His assumption is justified considering it had been pouring heavily for the past two days. Many areas in the state have been flooded and dozens have been feared dead in resultant landslides.

“The Kozhikode airport is basically on a tabletop hill and where we live is just the hill next to it. At around 8 pm, it was confirmed that a crash had taken place. Immediately my friends and I took out our vehicles and rushed to the site,” says Manan.

He shares that by the time they reached the crash site, he was aware that the pilots had been declared dead. Police, fire and rescue personnel reached the site in about half an hour, informs Manan.

“But you should have been there to see how people helped out. Those who arrived took their own vehicles and helped the injured passengers reach private hospitals as well as the Government Medical College in Manjeri,” he informs.

The CM of Kerala and several people on Twitter also took to applauding the local’s spirit who came for the rescue mission despite the heavy rains.

Several news reports and tweets with pictures also confirmed that after the hospitals, local blood banks and the district collector spread the word for the requirement of blood, people began queuing up to donate. This has been helpful in treating especially those patients with rare blood types.

Manan informs that now he would be in a 14-day home quarantine mandated by the authorities for those who visited the site of the crash. He says that this doesn’t bother him one bit because the quick response of people on the site helped ensure safety for many.

“I am just glad that we could evacuate so many people quickly because there was a possibility of an explosion. The timely intervention really helped manage the situation,” he says.

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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