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Plane split, saved him

KP Mayyinkutty (48), who works in Sharjah, escaped with minor injuries on the head. He shares his harrowing experience with Hindustan Times from his hospital bed.Lucky nine who did not board

india Updated: May 23, 2010 02:31 IST
HT correspondent
HT correspondent
Hindustan Times

The flight took off at 1.30 am from Dubai. After the boarding, everyone soon fell asleep. Around 5.45 am, the captain announced that the plane would be landing in 20 minutes, and he advised passengers to put on their seatbelts. In fact, the flight was 10 to 15 minutes ahead of schedule.

We were happy — but the happiness was short-lived.

The plane landed at high speed. It jerked severely several times and nearly touched the ground at that speed. But it seemed the pilot couldn't control the plane and it overshot the runway.

I don't know the technical jargon –– but he (the pilot) tried to apply the brake hard but failed, and it (the plane) cruised ahead at high speed.

At this point it seems the pilot tried to take off again. By that time, it hit a boundary wall and a tree, and caught fire.

In a few seconds, the plane broke into three pieces and fire engulfed the entire area. My seat was number 23 and I was in the middle of the aircraft.

I could hear wails and shrieks. Though my head was hit hard, I managed to unlock my belt.

When I saw a small opening (in the broken plane) I dived through it. I wanted to save the person sitting next to me, but I couldn't. Fire engulfed him while he was untying his belt.

I don't know how many of us have survived. I never thought I could survive and speak to you like this. It is all God's grace.

(As told to Ramesh Babu)

First Published: May 22, 2010 17:41 IST