May 27, 2010
There has been a lot of debate going on worldwide ever since the air crash tragedy in Mangalore and no meeting concludes without discussing this topic. We have been reading a lot of opinions about the crash in the print media and have been watching various television channels that bring about discussions ranging from expressing sympathies to speculating all plausible reasons for the crash.
It has to be accepted fact that so far we have seen the crash from one angle only. There has been enough focus on how the civilians rushing to the crash site to offer help to the victims, both survivors and dead without bothering about caste, creed, language or religion. There have been enough opinions on how the crash occurred and some so called experts even talked on how the pilot could have avoided the tragedy. Alas! If all ifs and buts could have saved the tragedy!!
It has to be accepted that an accident is an accident and no amount of ifs and buts could have saved it. Moreover, there is no point in giving suggestions to the pilot as the accident has already occurred.
Being present in Mangalore at the time of this gruesome tragedy and watching the events that unfolded closely ever since and even sharing the information and opinion with the international media like Reuters, Associated Press, WAM and many other news agencies which hardly have any presence in Mangalore, I came across certain incidents which I felt I should share with the esteemed readers of daijiworld.
When Maravoor hill area adjacent to the Bajpe runway was burning, with the entire world watching helplessly at the ghastly tragedy, some great souls rushed to the spot to give all possible help in the rescue operation. But unfortunately one petty shop located close to the plane crash site made fortune out of the tragedy which shows how low people can stoop down to and exploit the situation when people died in hundreds burning in the inferno following the tragedy. When life and death is uncertain in this world we do not know how long this shop owner would be able to enjoy the fortunes he made out from the situation arising out of the tragedy.
When no food or drink was available anywhere close to the crash site this petty shop owner thought it right to increase the cost of the stuff available with him five times the cost price. He made a fortune within a few hours and exhausted the stock following which he closed down the shop for the day even when people were desperate to quench their thirst or fill their empty stomachs, especially after slogging continuously at the rescue site. I do not wish to elaborate further but leave it to the readers to digest this unfortunate and shameful but true incident.
On day two of the crash there was heavy security at the crash site on realizing that there was possibility of the black box and other valuable evidences and valuables such as gold getting into the wrong hands. And tragically what was feared was happening. Many people who visited the crash site carried with them the remnants of what was left after the inferno exclaiming “this piece could be treasure to remember”! Imagine how people could even think of it at that moment of time. However, I was shaken by a small incident at the crash caught my attention. Several people had started to come to the crash site from far away places as if it was a tourist place. Policemen were doing their duty of not allowing common people to enter the site. However, one gentleman (if he can be called so) forcibly tried to enter the area and when the police tried to stop him he entered into an altercation with the police. He was saying that he wants to click the photograph of the crash in his mobile phone very close from the crash site. “I want to click the picture to show it to my little kids back home on how the crash had happened and how the crash site looked”! Of course, the police did not allow him to barge in. But one shudders to think the reasons people have to enter into a fight with the security men.
The third incident was even more shocking as a few individuals were trying to take advantage of this unfortunate incident. When people were shocked and numb following the crash some people were eying the gold and other valuables that was strewn at the crash site. It was a team of volunteers which kept an eye on such unscrupulous elements and they even caught some of them. So when we look from another angle it is sad, unfortunate and shameful that people can stop down to such levels even at a time of a catastrophe like the air crash in Mangalore!
Canards spread - Don't Fly on Air India Express!
Many must have heard such a silly statements being uttered by people soon after the air crash tragedy. When I was ready to fly on May 26th evening flight from Mangalore Dubai a couple of known people asked me "Are you flying by AI Express?, Don't you know it's not safe?'
I politely answered them saying accidents do occur all over the world very often. No one is sure what destiny or fate awaits them. We don't know where our fate is written. There are regular road accidents like bus, car, two-wheeler and accidents can occur even while walking and we have seen many such instances. But Just because of that we don’t stop plying by bus, car of two wheelers? Do we?
Mangalore Airport - Still Under Shock:
The atmosphere at the Mangalroe Airport is not the same as the one I experienced earlier when departing from Mangalore or on arrival. There is a gloomy atmosphere everywhere. People gather and talk only about the crash. There is sympathy on every face including that of the check-in counter staff, Immigration office and Airport authority staff...everyone's eye are sad and gloomy as if they want to convey many things but cannot find proper words to do so.
"We miss the smile and joy that inbound passengers carry when they land and queue-up for immigration clearance" said one immigration officer on duty during my departure from Mangalore. They explain how earlier people were rushing to clear immigration and baggage with so much of joy. But now they come with forlorn faces with a depressing look with little or no smile. I can only hasten to add that it is really a very very sad site...
During my last four years of frequent flying between Mangalore Dubai and vice versa I have not seen the kind of discipline I witnessed during my recent Mangalore-Dubai trip. No mobile calls or SMS tones could be heard after boarding the flight. Passengers behaved politely and decently with the crew and even while landing there was no noise of the mobile phone ringing. Passengers did not try to get up from their seat before landing which was a common sight earlier. What a change!
Of course lot of changes, lots of improvements behavior and attitude… but …. at what cost?
Mangalore Plane Crash - Complete Coverage : Click Here