Ramesh TR, an accountant, and his two children took a narrow tar road near Mangalore’s Bajpe airport leading to the plane crash site on Sunday, eager to witness the scene.
But their excited chatter abruptly ended after they passed the dense mass of trees and reached the 200-feet deep valley where the remains of the Air India Express plane that crashed on Saturday lay.
“It’s sad. How can anyone fly after seeing this,” said Ramesh, ushering his children to his motorcycle parked nearly 2 km away from the wreckage.
Ramesh and his children were among hundreds of Mangalore residents who thronged the little road on Sunday to reach the crash site.
Most of them, however, could not get very close because the police had cordoned off the area as teams of experts were searching for clues to the crash, and the digital flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder.
Two bulldozers were pressed into action to lift the mangled parts of what was flight IX-812 a little over a day ago.
Some villagers recalled Saturday morning’s horror.
Abdul Rehman, who lives nearby, saw the Boeing 737-800 tumble from the cliff and plunge into the woods.
He and a dozen other villagers were among the first to reach the accident site.
“There was fire, smoke and a grim silence,” he said, adding that the dreadful sight froze them initially.
“Nothing moved except for the mild drizzle.”
Rehaman’s group tried to pull out passengers from the wreckage, but the fire and fear of further explosions
prevented rescue efforts, till fire fighters and Central Industrial Security Force personnel took over the daunting task.