Updated: August 8, 2020 1:22:22 pm
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) on Saturday directed its personnel to go into quarantine as a precautionary measure after at least two passengers of the Air India Express flight that crashed at Kozhikode tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reported.
This came hours after the Kerala Health Department urged all those who assisted in the rescue operations to go into quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
The CISF said it was the “first responder” to rescue passengers on Friday as its Assistant Sub Inspector Ajit Singh was on runway patrol when the flight from Dubai with 190 people onboard overshot the table top runway, fell into a 35-foot valley and broke into two.
“We are identifying our personnel, who rescued the passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus,” CISF Special Director General (Airports) M A Ganapathy told PTI.
Fearing the spread of the infection among the victims as well as relief workers, the health department today directed both parties to undergo tests for the virus. While the survivors were already being tested, all those who assisted in rescue operations will also undergo the same, the department said.
Kondotty, where the airport is located, is already a containment zone with a high Covid positivity rate.
As many as 18 people were killed in the Air India Express flight crash at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport on Friday after the plane skidded off the runway and fell into a 35-feet valley before splitting. The pilot-in-command Captain Deepak Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those killed onboard the Dubai-Calicut Air India Express aircraft carrying 190 passengers as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.
The aircraft, with 190 people on board, was attempting to land in bad weather when it shot the runway around 7.40 pm and split into two after nosediving into a valley 35 feet below. In a statement, the DGCA said, “Visibility was 2,000 metres and there was heavy rain.” It said the flight, IX-1344, shot runway 10. Rescue operations, which went on till 11 pm, are over.
At least 100 people were left injured in the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the tragedy and said he had spoken with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “I have instructed the police and the fire force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Kozhikode International airport (CCJ) in Karipur,” Vijayan, who is expected to visit the site today, said.
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