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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Kozhikode mishap — Survivor recalls horror: Passenger a seat away died

The 26-year-old, now undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode, said a passenger sitting a seat away from him died in the mishap, which took place when an Air India Express flight skidded off the tabletop runway and fell into a valley.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: August 10, 2020 1:14:38 pm
kerala air crash, kerala plane crashlanding, kozhikode airport plane skid off, kerala tabletop airport “After some time, a few people came into the flight and tried to extricate me. They could not, but said that the firefighters are coming,” K K Riyas said. (PTI Photo)

K K Riyas, one of the survivors of the flight mishap at Kozhikode on Friday, said he had resigned himself to the thought that the end was near.

The 26-year-old, now undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kozhikode, said a passenger sitting a seat away from him died in the mishap, which took place when an Air India Express flight skidded off the tabletop runway and fell into a valley.

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“It was sheer luck that I did not suffer any major injury. When the flight touched the runway, I felt the aircraft jolting heavily. I don’t remember what actually happened in the few seconds after that. Then I found myself trapped. I could not move my legs or hands. I had got stuck between the front seat and my seat. The overhead console had fallen heavily on my head, trapping me.’’

“My right hand was across my face and got pressed against my nose. I was struggling to breathe. I heard people crying in panic, particularly children. Many were calling for help. I heard the passenger beside me saying that his relative in the aisle seat was ‘over’. He could not move as his legs had sustained serious injury and he too was trapped between seats like me,’’ said Riyas.

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He said though he was sitting in the window seat, he could not even turn his head, let alone look outside. “After some time, a few people came into the flight and tried to extricate me. They could not, but said that the firefighters are coming.”

Riyas said firefighters came and managed to rescue him by separating the seats. He said he reached the hospital in Kozhikode around 11 pm.

Riyas, who is from Velimmanna village in Kozhikode, said he went to Dubai six months ago in search of a job as a salesman. “I would have returned much earlier but for the lockdown.’’

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