Kozhikode: People of Malappuram have come in for praise for saving several passengers of the Air India Express plane crash here that left 18 dead, with the carrier saying "Taking a bow to HUMANITY" and "We owe you a lot".
Expressing its gratitude, the airline in a tweet said it takes not just courage, but a touch of humanity to save a life.
"Taking a bow to HUMANITY! A standing ovation from our hearts to the PEOPLE OF MALAPPURAM, Kerala, who had showered us with kindness & humanity during the uncertain incident.
We owe you a lot!
We at Air India Express take a bow to the people of Malappuram who have risked their own lives to save many.
WE OWE YOU!"
The AIE flight from Dubai with 190 people on board had overshot the tabletop runway while landing in heavy rains, fallen into into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions on Friday night, claiming 18 lives, including that of the pilot and co-pilot, and leaving over 100 injured.
The Karipur airport falls in Malappuram district and is about 30 km from Kozhikode.
As soon as the mishap occurred, many local people had rushed to offer all help unmindful of the downpour and COVID-19 fears.
They have been described as 'Real Heroes' by many.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had praised the 'fast response' of the local people and officials in being the first to reach the crash site to save the passengers, braving inclement weather and COVID-19 fears, "which made all the difference."
The airport area also comes under a containment zone.
As many as 135 local people, 42 police personnel and 72 fire force personnel who had participated in the rescue mission have gone on quarantine as a precautionary measure.
Malappuram Collector K Gopalakrishnan is also in quarantine.
SIT formed by Kerala police to probe air crash
The Kerala police has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the Air India Express crash at nearby Karipur international airport on August 7.
The 30-member team will be headed by Malappuram Additional Superintendent of Police G Sabu, a government release said.
Police said a case has been registered under various provisions of the Aircraft Act and Indian Penal Code Sections 337, 338 and 304 A, based on the statement by one of the CISF personnel who was on Airport periphery security duty near the site that day.
Section 337 of IPC deals with causing hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life, or the personal safety of others.
Section 338 deals with causing grievous hurt by an act endangering the life or personal safety of others, while 304 A deals with causing death by negligence.
Till now, 49 passengers have been discharged from hospitals.
Meanwhile, AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) has initiated the investigation into the accident with the support of Flight Safety Officials.