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Mangaloreans numbed by Air India tragedy

Mangalore, May 22 (Calcutta Tube) A week back it was celebrations for Mangaloreans as a new airport started operations, fulfilling a long pending demand.

The mood was one of sorrow Saturday after an Air India Express flying from Dubai crashed near the Mangalore airport killing 158 people.

Mangaloreans knew that flying into and out of their city was always scary as the airport is on a hilltop with deep ravines only metres away from the runway.

Kenjar village, just outside the new terminal, will take a long time to get over the trauma of witnessing the gory scenes of the burning plane and charred bodies pulled out of the Air India wreckage.

The plane with 160 passengers and six crew fell into the ravine after overshooting the runway on landing at the airport.

Dozens of villagers rushed to the spot to be of help, but leaping flames kept them away till the firemen reached the site.

Except for the tail of the Boeing 737-800, the aircraft was reduced to mangled, charred metal.

Dozens of people who were at the airport to receive relatives and friends also rushed to the disaster site.

Many burst into tears as they saw the mass of metal, leaving little hope of survivors.

S. Deepthi from Kenjar village who studies in Bangalore said: ‘It was horrendous to witness the tragedy. I had come home as colleges are closed for summer holidays. It will be difficult for me to get over the trauma.’

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