Saturday, August 15, 2020

Quarantined youngsters, the 1st responders at AIE crash site, raise tricolour

Malappuram: Eight quarantined youngsters, who were among the first responders to reach the Air India Express crash site here and help evacuate passengers, did not let their seclusion come in the way of hoisting the tricolour on Independence day at one of their homes on Saturday.
A video of the youngsters, all quarantined at one of their homes, saluting the national flag hoisted in a makeshift flag post, has gone viral.
"As far as we know, this is the day when we get to hoist our national flag and salute it without any protocol issues. We didn''t want to miss the opportunity even though we are under quarantine," Fazal, one of the members, told PTI.
They were the initialresponders when the AIE flight veered off the tabletop runway and broke into pieces on August 7, killing 18, including the pilot and the co-pilot. "We are staying under quarantine for last eight days. This is the house of one of our friends, who is also with us. We shifted his family to another place and decided to stay here," Fazal said.
Junaid, Naushad, Harris, Hareendran, Younis, Sajith and another person named Fazal, who is the house owner, are among the group who have been quarantined as per the order of the district authorities. The youngsters, who all stay around the airport region, had rushed to the accident spot unmindful of heavy rains and COVID-19 fears and took the injured to various hospitals, thus saving many lives, drawing praise from various quarters, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
The airport area is a containment zone.
The Malappuram Collector, Deputy Collector, assistant collector and the district police chief, who all were part of the rescue operations, tested positive on Friday. "We have given our swabs for testing and are awaiting the results," Fazal, who runs an export import business at Malppuram, said. The same group were in the news recently when a senior civil police officer of the control room here had saluted them for participating in the rescue operations. A photograph of the police officer''s gesture had gone viral in the social media.
15/08/20 PTI/Outlook
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