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The then DGP (Fire and Emergency Services) had announced a reward of Rs. 10,000
A recommendation was made to the government to sanction Rs. 1 lakh reward
MANGALORE: For Fire and Emergency Services personnel, the crash of Air India Express plane here about a year ago was another situation that they tackled.
“Yes it was a painful incident. But we have moved ahead to tackle many more such situations. For us, each call is an emergency and we do our best to tackle it,” B.G. Chengappa, Director of Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services, has said.
Mr. Chengappa was among the 106 personnel from the Fire and Emergency Services who were involved in the operation at the crash site. “They (personnel) did a good job and the then Director-General of Police (Fire and Emergency Services) Jija Hari Singh gave them a pat,” Mr. Chengappa told The Hindu.
Ms. Singh sanctioned Rs. 10,000 as reward in appreciation of the work of firemen. This amount, Mr. Chengappa said, was distributed among all the personnel, with those responding early getting Rs. 150. A recommendation had been made to the government to sanction a total reward of Rs. 1 lakh covering 106 personnel, Mr. Chengappa said.
In addition, six personnel involved in the operation were awarded the President's Medal and the Chief Minister's Medal for exemplary service, Mr. Chengappa said.
On May 22, 2010, the Fire Control room received information about the plane crash at 6.15 a.m. The fire engines from the Kadri Fire Station rushed to the spot in 15 minutes. These fire engines joined those from the Mangalore airport that had reached the spot a few minutes early. Fire engines from other fire stations in the city and from surrounding areas such as Udupi, Moodbidri, Karkala, Puttur and Sullia were put into action. Twenty fire engines were involved in the operation. “We were able to extinguish the fire in 40 minutes,” said Regional Fire Officer C. Basavanna, who was involved in operation along with Chief Fire Officer H.S. Varadarajan.
Among the odds that the firefighters faced was the access to the site. The narrow road to the crash site made it difficult to reach the spot.
The firemen had to ask the police to stop other vehicles and only allow fire engines on the narrow road.
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