At least 18 people, including both the pilots were killed after an Air India Express plane with 190 passengers on board from Dubai skidded off the runway and broke in two while landing at Kerala's Kozhikode on Friday, August 7 amid incessant rain.
All the passengers on board were evacuated after a nearly three-hour operation and at least 112 injured were taken to hospitals in nearby Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, authorities said.
The flight was part of the Vande Bharat programme that has been tasked with bringing back Indians from abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, what restored faith in humanity was people stepping up to volunteer for blood donation and prepare food packages late into the night to aid the injured passengers amid rains and COVID-19 scare.
Several heartwarming pictures started making rounds on social media of people equipped with face masks and hand gloves queuing up outside blood banks in hospitals in Kozhikode.
All flights that were to land at Karippur are to land at Kannur following the jet crash. Since the flights are to reach late and at odd hours, the youth of Mattannur in Kannur are busy arranging food for the passengers. pic.twitter.com/2SyAyGDlD7— Alinda Merrie Jan 🌹 (@alindaMjan) August 7, 2020
According to reports, a number of volunteers were engaged at Kannur to prepare food packages for distressed passengers who were supposed to land at Karipur.
The spirit of volunteerism in Kerala has lifted our spirits everytime a disaster or calamity has struck us.Youth queuing up at midnight outisde a blood bank to donate blood and another group preparing food packets for the people arriving in the flights diverted to Kannur airport. pic.twitter.com/hTie6YiAnE— S.R.Praveen (@myopiclenses) August 7, 2020
"I don't know any of them personally. But I know for a fact that they're all people with a good heart," an emotional Linsith Lal tells The News Minute on Saturday morning.
A native of Nadakkavu, in Kozhikode district of Kerala, Linsith was speaking about the people who came to donate blood at the Baby Memorial Hospital, late on Friday night. He was also one among them.
"It was raining. This didn't stop people from coming in. They had followed all COVID-19 protocols and waited patiently by maintaining proper physical distancing," said Dr Sajitha, the head of the Blood Bank in Baby Memorial Hospital.