Survivors tell of miracle escape from Indian air crash

BANGALORE, May 22, 2010 (AFP) – Some of the seven survivors who crawled or were carried from the burning remains of a plane that crashed in India on Saturday told of their escape amid scenes of horror and death. At least 159 people died after the plane overshot the runaway and plunged down a steep slope when coming in to land near the southern city of Mangalore on a flight from Dubai.

“The plane veered off toward some trees on the side and then the cabin filled with smoke,” Umer Farooq, his face covered in burn cream, told the NDTV news channel at a local hospital.

“The plane overshot the runway only to stop inside a forest area… it burst into flames,” he said. “I got caught in some cables but managed to scramble out.

“My hands, face and legs are all burnt. There was an announcement that the plane would land in 15 minutes. There was lot of smoke fire inside, there was no way to get out. I think the plane hit something.”

Another survivor, K.P. Manikutty, said he had managed to escape as the plane’s fuselage smashed open.

“There was no warning to passengers about any trouble and it appeared a smooth landing,” Manikutty told the Press Trust of India.

“Immediately on touching the gro