Cops keep eye out for booty hunters at crash site | india | Hindustan Times
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Cops keep eye out for booty hunters at crash site

Even as they were busy with rescue operations, the police at the wreckage of the Air India Express flight that crashed in Mangalore were aware that some people among the crowd had gathered for only one reason — to steal valuable personal belongings.

india Updated: May 24, 2010 00:54 IST
Salil Mekaad

Even as they were busy with rescue operations, the police at the wreckage of the Air India Express flight that crashed in Mangalore were aware that some people among the crowd had gathered for only one reason — to steal valuable personal belongings.

Gulf returnees are traditionally known to bring a lot of gold in the form of jewellery or 24-carat biscuits for their relatives and friends back home.

Police have examined the wreckage and removed personal belongings, documents and valuables such as gold jewellery and electronic gadgets. The Bajpe police station have prepared a list of inventories and sealed the material collected from the wreckage.

They are, however, not ruling out that unscrupulous elements might just have stolen some items during rescue operations.

“It can’t be denied that some people from among the crowd might have picked up valuable items. But we have segregated and recorded whatever items we found at the site,” Mangalore Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh told Hindustan Times.

The police had reached the site within 20-30 minutes of the crash.

“It is unlikely that valuables were picked up in the first 30 minutes as everyone was in a state of shock. The crowd grew later. But our first priority was to save the passengers,” Singh said.