In a tragic accident last night, an Air India flight with 190 people on board skidded off the runway in Kozhikode in Kerala. Amid the bad weather conditions that surrounded its arrival, the flight crashlanded and overshot the runway before splitting into two pieces. With 18 people passing away, including the pilot and the co-pilot, a number of causalities were reported from the Air India flight (IX-1344) that was coming in from Dubai to Kozhikode. The plane was a part of India’s Vande Bharat Mission, bringing home those stranded amid the coronavirus crisis. While relief effort began at the earliest, some heartwarming stories about the humanitarian spirit emerged from the tragedy.
Here’s taking a look at some of the most stirring stories that emerged post the Air India plane crash in Kerala.
Survivors of the plane crash in Kozhikode, also referred to as Calicut, said they owed their lives to the pilot’s timely decision. Captain Deepak Sathe—an alumnus from the National Defence Academy (NDA) and a former test pilot of the Indian Air Force—had more than two decades of experience in flying. He had also been awarded the Air Force Academy’s ‘Sword of Honour’ award in 1981.
As per an account of a passenger, the captain tried to land more than once in the heavy rains, having already warned the people on board about the bad weather and aborted landing twice. It was his timely actions that helped avoid the plane catching on fire, a massive risk aversion.
In a strong showcase of the human spirit and empathy, the residents in the area didn’t think twice before lending a helping hand. Before the authorities could reach the site, a number of locals rushed to assist on the site of the crash. Helping the injured passengers out in the heavy rains, the first responders had already initiated relief efforts by the time ambulances arrived, putting their own safety and the risk of COVID-19 aside. Those injured were then shifted to several hospitals across Kozhikode and Malappuram district. Late last night, Kerala’s Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed that the evacuation from the site had been completed.
From arranging food for diverted flights to queueing up outside blood banks in the middle of the night to make donations hours after the plane crash, Kerala rose up in the face of this tragedy, the people of ‘God’s own country’ demonstrating their humanitarian spirit.
Our hearts go out to everyone in the midst of this devastation, and we hope for a speedy recovery of those injured.
Featured Image: Twitter