Kenjar residents helped in recovery of bodies

Hearts and hands

Kenjar residents helped in recovery of bodies

In fact, the ill-fated aircraft came to halt just 200 to 300 metres off the runway, but it takes about 7 kms to reach the crash site from the Mangalore airport terminal building.

“I was part of the runway inspection team. We gave a green signal to the ATC. But seconds later, we were shocked to see that the aircraft was missing and we saw smoke billowing from the valley. Only then we realised that the aircraft had crashed,” said Sadik to Deccan Herald.

Mohammed, a nearby resident, heard a loud sound and sent his son to check the source. When it dawned on the people that a plane had crashed, the shocker spread like wildfire and everyone rushed to the spot. Media persons who reached the spot about 30 minutes after the crash, found the smouldering aircraft with thick smoke engulfing it.
Fire fighters took more than three hours to completely douse the flames. A fire fighter rescued a child, but she breathed her last on the way to hospital.

The aircraft crashed at 6.02 am and till 9.30 am, the rescuers could recover only six bodies. A road was later dug  to the valley so that the dead bodies could be shifted to the approach road from where they were taken in ambulances to hospitals in Mangalore, 15 km away.
As the police had stopped all vehicular movement on the route, the relatives of the victims found it difficult to reach the spot. Most of the relatives were waiting with bated breath and hope that their dear ones would survive. By 9.30 am, news about the very few survivors reached the  inconsolable relatives.

Vacationer-volunteer

Hordes of villagers and volunteers strained every nerve to recover bodies. Wilson Prakash D’Souza, a volunteer from Kinnigoli, about 20 km away, said that he helped recover 15 bodies. He had flown the same flight from Dubai last week on a month’s vacation.

“Most of the victims were still in sitting position,” said another rescuer. As most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition, the futile bid by relatives to identify their kith and kin, was heart rendering. Police had a tough time controlling the hordes of curious onlookers.

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