One of the 18 passengers, who died when an Air India flight crashed during landing in Kerala’s Kozhikode, has tested positive for Covid-19, PTI reported. The state’s Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel said that samples of the deceased passenger were sent for testing and they came back positive for the disease.
Health Minister KK Shailaja asked the personnel engaged in rescue operations to report to authorities and go into self-quarantine as a precautionary measure. The state government will conduct their Covid-19 tests, she said, according to ANI.
The Central Industrial Security Force also directed its personnel to go into preventive quarantine. An unidentified official said the CISF were the “first responders” at the crash site.
About 50,000 CISF personnel, engaged in the rescue operations, and their families have been asked to go into quarantine, one of the officials said.
Earlier in the day, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said the black box or flight data recorders of the flight have been found.
At least 18 people, including two pilots, were killed and over 100 were injured when the Boeing-737 flight from Dubai, repatriating Indians stranded due to the Covid-19 pandemic, overshot the runway amid heavy rain. The plane was carrying 190 passengers and crew. Among them 10 were infants.
Video footage from the site showed the aircraft split into two chunks after the plane’s fuselage sheared apart. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said authorities managed to rescue most of the passengers because the plane did not catch fire while descending the slope at the end of the table-top runway. Such runways are located at an altitude and have steep drops at one or both ends.
Meanwhile, India’s coronavirus case count on Saturday rose to 20,88,611 after 61,537 cases and the toll went up to 42,518 after 933 deaths. There are 61,9088 active cases in the country, and 14,27,005 patients have recovered so far.