Twenty three Kerala officials including Malappuram collector, SP test Covid-19 positive, CM in quarantine
The officers had led the rescue operations after the plane crash.Updated: Aug 14, 2020 16:50 IST
A week after the Kerala plane crash, in which 18 passengers including two pilots lost their lives, two senior officials of Malappuram district, collector and police superintendent, have tested positive for coronavirus along with 21 other officials including Malappuram sub collector. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and director general of police (DGP) Loknath Behra, who visited the accident spot along with Kerala Governor the next day, have been quarantined.
Malappuram collector and SP have been in quarantine ever since one of the dead and two injured passengers tested positive two days after the tragedy. Both the officers were at the crash site for many hours and led the rescue operations from the front with the aid of local people who saved many lives due to their timely intervention.
“Some symptoms were there since yesterday and later it was confirmed positive. This is part of our job. I am relieved we could limit the death toll to 18,” said collector K Gopalakrishnan who reached the spot in 20 minutes and took command of the rescue work. Though the airport is known after Kozhikode, it is in Malappuram district, at least 25 kms away from Kozhikode city. The SP Abdul Kareem was tested positive on Thursday.
Earlier the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had also asked its personnel who took part in the rescue operation to go in quarantine. Kondotty, where the airport is situated, was a containment zone when the accident took place but youngsters came out immediately for rescue work which was later lauded by many including Union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Air India.
The civil aviation minister, who visited the accident site on Saturday had announced Rs 10 lakh interim relief to the families of the deceased and requested all to refrain from making speculations over the cause of the crash. Many theories are floating around like excess rubber deposits on the runway, water stagnation and aqua-planning and overshooting may have resulted in the crash. Meanwhile, many passengers other than the 15 seriously hurt, have been discharged from the hospital.