Civilians rushed to save lives after plane crash, honoured with special gesture
In a special gesture on Sunday, Kerala police personnel went to quarantine centres housing civilians-- who had rushed to rescue injured passengers stuck inside the crashed Indian Express flight from Dubai at Karipur Airport on Friday night-- and gave them a salute, to honour their contribution in rescue and relief operations.
A group of 20-30 civilians had joined officials of the CISF, Kerala police, Airport Authority of India staff, fire fighters, airline crew in the rescue operation that lasted close to three hours and helped successfully pull out all 190 passengers and crew members from the Boeing 737 aircraft that fell 35 feet down into a valley after overshooting the runway at the Karipur airport in Kozhikode and crashing into the airport wall.
The locals, who rushed to help, had gathered on the main road adjacent to the perimeter wall of the airport after hearing the sound of the crash.
After the rescue work was finished, they were requested to put themselves in quarantine since at least two rescued passenger tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
“The state will always remember their work but we have to take precautions,” state health minister K K Shailaja had said.
As many as 30 CISF personnel involved in the rescue operations were also quarantined on Saturday for the next 14 days.
The CISF brass has also decided to award the Director General (DG) commendation DISC to three officers for their outstanding efforts during the rescue operations.
“DG CISF Rajesh Ranjan has announced to award DG’s commendation DISC to Deputy Commandant/CASO, Kishore Kumar AV, Assistant Sub-Inspector Ajit Singh and Assistant Sub-Inspector Mangal Singh, in recognition of their outstanding efforts during the rescue operations at Calicut Airport,” CISF said in a press note.
The crashed aircraft was arriving from Dubai to Kozhikode under the government’s Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indians stranded abroad amidst the Covid pandemic.
The efforts of the rescue team including civilians is even more commendable considering that the area was wet and continuous rains had slowed down movement and approach. Visibility was another major challenge as the area was dark initially till emergency lights and other equipment arrived at the site of the incident.
Rescue teams were also mindful of the fact that a lot of fuel had spilled out from the plane which could have caught fire or even caused an explosion.
The cutters and other equipment were used to cut cables and the metallic body of the aircraft to make way for the rescue teams to enter the aircraft and pull out passengers safely.