Tuesday, September 25, 2018 | ePaper

More lives could have been saved

Firefighters struggle for over half an hour to reach burning wreckage

  • Print
Staff Reporter :
More lives could have been saved from the burning wreckage of the US-Bangla aircraft had the firefighters been equipped with proper personal protective equipment for the rescue and response operation.
"We couldn't enter the active fire in and around the aircraft due to lack of suitable entry suits," a firefighter who took part in the rescue and response mission, told The Himalayan Times.
He said though rescue and firefighting foam tenders had reached the crash site within three minutes of the crash, they had to struggle for over half an hour to reach the intensely burning wreckage due to lack of aluminised fire entry suits. Aluminised fire entry suits are mandatory for such hazardous situation as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), according to the firefighter.
"Most of the 22 lives saved from the scene were from areas that didn't catch fire," he said, adding, "More lives could have been saved if the firefighters were equipped with necessary gears and personal protective equipment."
Another rescuer told the newspaper that they managed to save lives of mostly those passengers who had luckily escaped from the fire.
Doctors at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital who conducted post-mortem told the newspaper that most of the 49 deaths were attributed to inhalation of toxic fumes, implying that the occupants remained alive despite the high intensity impact.
Officials at the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) confirmed that the firefighting rescue squad was only issued fire proximity suits that were not suitable for entering active fire areas at TIA.
"They would have saved more lives had they donned fire entry suits," a CAAN official said.
TIA stated that the ill-fated plane crash-landed at 2:18pm on Monday last and immediately burst into flames.
"The fire was controlled at 3:00pm while all bodies were retrieved by 5:45pm," TIA said in a statement. Bangladeshi citizen Shahreen Ahmed, 29, who survived the crash, said she saw other passengers burning, shouting and falling down.
Late response to crash-landing of BS-211 flight shows the actual state of emergency rescue and response efforts in the country's sole international airport, an airliner pilot said.
TIA management, however, claims that the aerodrome is certified for handling Category 9 aircraft (wide body jets). "Poor handling of an accident related to Category 5 belies that claim," the senior captain added.

More News For this Category

Govt corruption in high places is always syndicated

Transparency International Bangladesh in a survey report revealed that syndicates of corrupt government employees and transport union leaders have been shoddily hampering the export and import businesses at the

Dhaka-Delhi trade deficit balloons

Kazi Zahidul Hasan  :Bangladesh's trade deficit with India marked an incremental rise year-on-year even if both the countries are enjoying excellent bilateral trade and economic relations. Business leaders attributed the

A covered van overturned due to reckless driving near Kuril Flyover on Monday injuring the driver and his helper.

A covered van overturned due to reckless driving near Kuril Flyover on Monday injuring the driver and his helper.

Alliance with corrupts to fight corruption: PM

UNB, New York :Mentioning that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman are convicted in graft cases, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Jukto Front leaders Dr

FFs' children demand not to scrap quota for them

DU Correspondent :The freedom fighters' (FFs) children have demanded of the government not to scrap quota for them in class-I and class-II jobs in public services.They came up with the

UN has no right to interfere in Myanmar's internal matters

UN has no right to interfere in Myanmar's internal matters

AFP :Myanmar's powerful army chief says the United Nations has no right to interfere in his country's sovereignty, a week after UN investigators called for him and other top generals

ACC chief embarassed over questioning on ex-CJ SK Sinha

Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Iqbal Mahmood says he is embarrassed to answer questions from the media regarding allegations of corruption against former Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.Sinha, who resigned from his

Hilsa production target 5 lakh MT

Hilsa production target 5 lakh MT

Special Correspondent :Hilsa fish production in the country will exceed last year's total quantity of 5 lakh metric tonnes this year, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock said on Monday.

Female AL leader killed as scarf gets tangled with motorbike wheel

UNB, Sylhet :A female leader of Awami League was killed on Sunday night as her scarf got tangled with the wheel of a motorcycle near Koitak Bridge area in Chatak

Trump at UN, to again confront NKorea's N-threat

AP, Bridgewater :As he begins the sequel to his stormy UN debut, President Donald Trump will again confront the dangers posed by North Korea's nuclear threat, though its shadow may