AIR INDIA PLANE CRASHES AT KOZHIKODE
Feelings of hope, relief and happiness turned to feelings of terror and panic, when Air India flight flying from Dubai to Kozhikode, carrying 191 passengers and crew skidded off a hilltop runway, after landing during heavy rain yesterday night. Immediate casualties were reported to be around 18, including 2 pilots, however rescues operations still continue. Reports say that this has been the worst aircraft crash since the 2010 Mangalore accident.
The Air India Express flight had been ferrying Indian passengers stranded overseas during the COVID - 19 pandemic. The Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, in a round of official statements has stated that around 172 people have been hospitalised, and Abdul Karim, a senior Kerala State police officer has stated that around 15-20 of these patients are in a critical condition.
What’s worse, is the fact that amongst these people, CISF sources state that 2 passengers have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus, and hence around 50 rescuers have been quarantined. On a more positive note, faith in humanity has been restored as we see citizens of Kerala lining up at blood banks to donate their blood and help save lives. We also see many volunteers preparing food packets to help those in need.
Survivors of this plane crash have been lauding one of the late pilots who had helped avoid a fiery explosion after the plane crash, which if taken place would have meant much worse for all those on that aircraft. We here salute Wing Commander Deepak Vasant Sathe for his presence of mind and for saving more than 150 passengers.
In the line of the updates, the most recent one suggests that an important part of the aircraft’s black box has been retrieved and so has the flight’s data recorder. These serve to prove whether it was only the rain that had caused the crash, or if there were any other external factors.
At times like this, we must be in solidarity with the nation and pray for the lives of these civilians.
Reporter - Kruthika Senthil Kumar