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Nearly 600 Kerala Residents, Part of Air India Crash Rescue Operation, in Quarantine amid Covid-19 Scare

Officials stand by the debris of the Air India Express flight that skidded off a runway while landing in Kozhikode, Kerala on August 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Shijith Sreedhar)

Officials stand by the debris of the Air India Express flight that skidded off a runway while landing in Kozhikode, Kerala on August 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Shijith Sreedhar)

The flight from Dubai was part of the Vande Bharat Mission and under the Covid-19 protocol, the passengers should have been under home quarantine for 14 days. One of the passengers who died later tested positive.

Around 600 people who were part of the rescue operations at Karipur airport, including Malappuram collector K Gopalakrishnan, have gone into quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Shabeer AP, who was also part of the rescue operations, is now under home quarantine.

Recollecting the event, Shabeer said, "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."

The area falls in a containment zone but that did not stop people living nearby from helping the passengers.

"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," said Shabeer. "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."

Many of the people were shifted to hospitals in private vehicles, including autos, cars and jeep.

The flight from Dubai was part of the Vande Bharat Mission and under the Covid-19 protocol, the passengers should have been under home quarantine for 14 days. One of the passengers who died later tested positive.

As many as 114 people are still under treatment at various hospitals and the condition of about 16 continues to be critical. The crash has taken the life of 18 people, including the pilot and the co-pilot.

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