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I saw Mumbai plane crash victim in flames, says witness

People working at the under construction site where the chartered plane crashed said they called the police after fuel from the aircraft spilled on the pedestrian.

mumbai Updated: Jul 01, 2018 14:45 IST
Ywesha Kotak
Ywesha Kotak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai

A small chartered plane crashed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar on June 28, killing five people. (Vijayanand Gupta/ HT Photo)

When Babasaheb Umap, a resident of Ghatkopar, who called the police after the small aircraft crashed killing five on Thursday afternoon, said he saw a fan blade from the aircraft hit the head of a pedestrian. Within seconds, his body was in flames after fuel from the aircraft spilled on him.

“All I remember is seeing his brain and eyes pop out of his body and he was burning. But, before we could save him, there was fuel all around. We couldn’t do anything, which is why we quickly called the police and the ambulance,” said Umap. A mobile phone in pieces and a measuring tape were all that could be made out near the pedestrian’s body, later identified as Govind Dubey.

Narayan Senghani, who works in the area, and whose son is the site inspector at the under-construction building into which the plane crashed, said when the first blast took place, he thought it was at a sub-station or at a construction site.

After around six consecutive blasts, Senghani and his friends rushed out to see flames fanning out in the lane as the plane had crashed at the construction site. Fuel from the aircraft was flowing into the storm water drain and the plane was in flames. “I called my son. Although, he never goes home for lunch, he was at home today. He rushed back to the site to take his injured workers to the hospital,” said Senghani.

Another resident, Haribhai Patel, said he saw the pilot going around in circles looking for a landing, which is when the plane hit the tree inside the boundary of the under-construction building and then the building.

“The pilot would have assumed that it is an empty ground and would have tried to save lives. We are used to hearing flights pass by every now and then, but didn’t expect this to crash,” said Patel.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 08:23 IST