In a devastating incident, an Air India flight from Dubai to Kozhikode, crashed into the valley after overshooting the tabletop runway at the Karipur Airport on August 7.
Including the pilot and the co-pilot, the crash claimed 18 lives.
Kerala: An Air India Express plane skidded during landing at Karipur Airport, Kozhikode. More details awaited. pic.twitter.com/TxrQEzxPDV— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2020
And the number could have gone up, had the locals not acted promptly and helped the passengers trapped inside.
These people were completely selfless while helping and are now under quarantine due to the coronavirus scare. Around 600 of them.
Locals brushed aside COVID-19 concerns to help passengers of crashed Air India flight, saved many lives— James Wilson (@jamewils) August 8, 2020
Local residents reached the airport accident site in the heavy rain even before rescue teams to help the injured.https://t.co/J8BQfmDRtr
A report by News 18 quoted Shabeer AP, one of the members of the rescue operation, as saying
We reached the spot after hearing a huge crash sound. When I reached already about 10-15 people were there. It was raining heavily. Initially there was a fear of the flight catching fire but hearing the cries of the passengers, we just forgot everything and tried to rescue the people.
In a special gesture on Sunday, #Kerala police personnel went to quarantine centres housing civilians — who had rushed to assist rescue operations after #KozhikodePlaneCrash — and gave them a salute, to honour their contribution.https://t.co/hMj7REdMnR— Express South (@IExpressSouth) August 10, 2020
Kerala police salutes the inimitable spirit of the locals of Malappuram involved in the Karipur rescue. Kerala police visited them at their quarantine centers in Kozhikode and expressed gratitude to them#KozhikodeAirCrash pic.twitter.com/mx4nsWeUrX— Arnab Goswami (@unoffarnab) August 9, 2020
The fact that the area falls under containment zone also wasn't a factor, even for a second, as locals jumped right in and tried to save as many lives as they could. Some without even masks.
There were children, pregnant ladies, elderly who were crying out. And we could see many bleeding. At that moment we did not think of anything other than saving these lives. We actually did not think much about coronavirus at that time because our aim was to save as many people as we could. There were people who did not even have mask while involved in rescue operation.
A report from The Wire said that some of these people do not have enough space in their homes, and so they are quarantined in a school.
However, they have no regrets and are 'thankful' they could help those people.
What happened once the airport let locals participate in the rescue mission 20 minutes later, is a source of pride for Kerala. It stands testimony to the collective strength and humanity displayed by residents from across Kozhikode and Malappuram. https://t.co/phatXMCfAN— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) August 9, 2020