By Rajnish Singh
New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Assistant Sub-Inspectors Ajit Singh and Mangal Singh of the CISF prevented the loss of many lives with their quick response following the crash of an Air India Express flight at the Calicut International Airport on Friday evening. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) said that had the two officers not reacted quickly, the loss of lives could have been much more.
The flight IX-1344 from Dubai to Calicut carrying 184 passengers and six crew members made a crash landing at the Calicut International Airport on Friday evening and overshot the runway near gate number 8. Soon after the tragic incident, Ajit, in-charge of the CISF patrolling team, and Mangal, posted on duty near the crash site, alerted the control room and guided the CISF rescue team to the site.
Rajesh Ranjan, DG, CISF, has appreciated the efforts of the CISF officers. In recognition of their efforts, he has announced an award for them.
Their message was passed to the CISF control room, which in turn informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) Fire Wing, senior officers of the CISF, district authorities and other agencies. In the meantime, the CISF said, around 40 CISF personnel led by Deputy Commandant Kishor Kumar A.V. reached the spot and started evacuating the passengers amid heavy downpour.
Later, AAI officials along with the police and the district authorities reached the spot and helped in the rescue operation, the CISF said, adding that a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team also reached the spot at about 10 p.m. and rescued two passengers who were stuck between the seats in the plane.
The CISF personnel were divided into different teams to cordon off the area and conduct the rescue operations. Due to the efforts of the CISF, AAI fire service teams, the district administration, the local police and the NDRF, the passengers were evacuated and shifted to different hospitals.
As per the district medical authorities, 18 deaths have been reported till now. By the time other agencies arrived at the crash site, the CISF said that it had already evacuated majority of the passengers.
The Chief Airport Security Officer, CISF, Calicut Airport, Deputy Commandant Kishor Kumar A.V. reached the site within 20 minutes of the mishap and mobilised people and material for the rescue operation.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])