A half-burnt flight manual, a melted tail and various odds and ends were among the remains of Swiss-made PC 12 after the air ambulance, in an attempt to save the life of a seriously-ill hepatitis patient, ended up claiming the lives of nine more.
Wielding their canes and batons, the local police, who were missing in action the previous night when the plane crashed around 10.45pm, were busy driving onlookers away from the site.
“What will they gain by driving us away now? Where were they when we needed them to help us clear the debris and douse the fire last night?” asked 23-year-old Kapil Chaudhary, a visibly angry local.
The police had a hard time keeping residents, with children being present in a majority, from coming close to the house where remains of the air ambulance lay. Minutes before the crash, Captain Harpreet reported to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) in Delhi that he was facing bad weather. His contact with the controllers severed at 10.43pm, and the single-engine plane crashed atop a two-storey house in Faridabad’s Parvatiya colony.
A sea of onlookers would swell and move a little closer to the house before batons would start raining upon them again. Finally, the police had to tie ropes around adjacent electricity poles to keep the crowd at bay.
However, they weren’t very successful. “This is a disaster site and our orders are to keep onlookers at bay so that they don’t carry away parts of evidence with them as souvenirs,” is all a Faridabad Police inspector, who refused to identify himself, had to say.