New Delhi: The CISF ordered its staff to go into preventive quarantine after at least two passengers on the Air India Express flight that crashed in Kozhikode tested positive for COVID-19, authorities said on Saturday.
The Central Industrial Security Force said it was the “first responder” to rescue the passengers, as its deputy assistant inspector Ajit Singh was patrolling the runway when the flight from Dubai with 190 people on board surpassed the tabletop runway and fell by 35 – Foot Valley and split in two on Friday.
Eighteen passengers, including the two pilots of the Boeing 737-800 plane, died in the crash.
“We are identifying our staff, who rescued passengers who tested positive for the coronavirus,” CISF Special Director General (Airports) M A Ganapathy told PTI.
Another senior official said the force has information that two passengers tested positive for COVID-19.
About 50 CISF staff members and their families participated in the rescue operation and have been asked to self-quarantine, he said.
The force will also conduct COVID-19 testing of those who were exposed, the officer said.
The CISF provides counter-terrorism cover for Kozhikode Airport.
Another official said rescuers from the National Disaster Response Force and other airport officials were asked to self-quarantine.
ASI Singh, who saw the accident first, immediately alerted its control room, which reported it to the airport authorities, and rescue teams from CISF, the airport authority, firefighters, and the police were transferred to the scene of the accident.
CISF Chief Rajesh Ranjan announced the awarding of the Director-General (DG) Commendation Disc to ASIs Ajit Singh, Mangal Singh and Airport Security Officer Deputy Commander Kishor Kumar AV for displaying “a state of alert and exemplary presence of mind in alerting the control room and guiding the CISF rescue to the site. ”
The senior officer said that around 40 CISF staff members participated in the rescue operation.
“The reinforcement also responded from the lines of CISF units and assisted personnel who were involved in the rescue operation. Not only the staff of the barracks, even those who remain outside the airport campus, came to the scene when they learned of the accident, despite the heavy rains, “he said.
The CISF was deployed to this airport in January 2002 and has a force of around 300 people, an official said.
She is a freelance blogger, writer, and speaker, and writes for various entertainment magazines.