Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday praised the ”fast response” of the local people and officials in being the first to reach the aircraft crash site here to rescue passengers, braving inclement weather and COVID-19 fears, “which made all the difference.”
The Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot the tabletop runway at the airport here while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions on Friday night, killing 18 people and injuring many others.
Mr Vijayan, who is at Kozhikode to visit the injured, said in a tweet that the fast response of the local people and the officials made all the difference.
“Yesterday, the fast response of local people and officials made all the difference. They braved bad weather and COVID fears to rescue their fellow beings. The long queues of people who wanted to donate blood was just one example,” Mr Vijayan said.
Twitter and other social media platforms were flooded with images and videos of locals rushing to rescue the victims, arranging vehicles to transport the injured to hospitals and queueing up to donate blood even late at night.
“We have seen this many times…when there is an adversity, the people of Kerala come together to fight it. Humanity, the greater goodness that binds us all, is the bedrock of our society. Let’s take a moment to congratulate the people of Malappuram and Kozhikode,” Mr Vijayan said.
The Malappuram District collector K Gopalakrishnan had said on Friday that 110 passengers were admitted to various hospitals in Kozhikode and the others, to hospitals in Malappuram.
The flight carried 190 passengers, including 174 adults, 10 infants and six crew member.