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The Balance of Nature

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This is the way a new universe is supposed to work, or at least, how the universe has to work, if it is supposed to.

If all the things in the universe (like every single cell, tree, galaxy, star, planet, etc.) can only be understood if you accept that they were created in some very particular manner, then there is no logical possibility to think that they created at all. If you think about it, we’ve found out a whole lot about the universe (and every single part of it), and we can’t accept anything as fact unless there is a logical reason for it.

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You can’t say ‘it’ created out of nothing until you’ve measured something, or figured out the speed of light and the mass of the sun and the mass of matter that they’re all made of, etc – at that point all we say is ‘something’ creates stuff (and it only works for one case; it can’t be true for every case, since it’s impossible to know what might or might not have happened). So then we either have to accept that everything in nature is random, or if that’s the case, we just don’t expect the universe to continue to be random.

There’s a real question here, and the best answer is that you should be willing to consider, but don’t think that

When we talk about animals then they can be considered species, but this is a false and illogical concept. Species do not exist. Humans are one, all animals are one, they are one.

No wonder people say ‘the woods are the home of the wild’.  So I’ve never been there before, it’s been hard to get here from Seattle. My first few days were amazing, I had a lot of freedom.  I was free to make wild food, to use fire, go where I wanted (like hiking, kayaking, or snowshoeing), to climb any mountain, to just go wherever I thought might be interesting. This was around August.

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So my expectations were way off, my first day of freedom was August 25th.  I didn’t really expect to see any bears there.  I think I was going to kill a little one on my snowshoes, but it just sort of disappeared.

I guess I’m just the weirdo that likes the outdoors.  I had my dogs with me, they were amazing with their food.  I was taking them for walks, they would run and chase every bit of wildlife they came across, it wasn’t long at all before someone would come running towards them telling them there was a bear.  

Air India Express tragedy: Metal cutters used to rescue passengers, says CISF IG | India News

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BENGALURU: The front and last rows of the plane were badly damaged and metal cutters were used to evacuate the passengers from the Air India Express flight that crashed at Kozhikode airport on Friday night, said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Inspector General (IG) CV Anand on Saturday.
The IG said the rescue operations were started on time as two CISF assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) present on duty immediately alerted the control room.
“Two of our assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) who were on duty witnessed the accident and immediately alerted the control room and the CISF barracks that are a kilometre away. The rescue teams rushed to the site and witnessed that the first few and last few rows were badly damaged. Some people from the middle rows had gotten up and started moving by the time the rescue teams reached the site,” Anand told reporters.
“Most of the people were rescued within 30 to 40 minutes, but some were stuck in mangled metal near the front and back of the plane. The fire department used their metal cutters used to get them out of the mangled metal,” said Anand.
The IG said the pilots could not be saved because it took close to two hours to take them out of the mangled metal of the cockpit.
“On the other side, the cockpit crashed into the boundary wall. There was JCB outside that was brought in and with its help and of metal cutters the two pilots were removed from their seats. But they were critically injured by that time. The entire process took about two hours and by that time the NDRF had also joined. ”
Anand said they were lucky that the plane did not catch fire.
“The number of casualties could have been higher if the plane caught fire. We were lucky that a fire accident was avoided even though it was raining and dark,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, the CISF ASI Ajeet Singh who was one of the eye-witnesses of the Air India Express flight crash at Kozhikode airport on Friday night said that he was talking to a colleague when he saw the plane falling towards the parameter road and informed the control room.
“I went to the field at around 7:30 pm for the third round and reached the gate number 2, which is an emergency fire gate, where ASI Mangal Singh was on duty. I sought the beat book from him to sign. Then I was talking to him when I saw the plane of the Air India Express falling towards the parameter road,” Singh said on Saturday.
He said that he immediately informed the control room, officials concerned, and rescue teams.
“Line members and fire teams came for the rescue. We immediately opened gate number 8. Around 25-30 volunteers and a JCB entered the premises and started the rescue operation by removing the debris, under which passengers were stuck,” Singh said.
“The CISF personnel entered the crashed plane and rescued the people from inside, took them to the ambulance, which came in from gate number 8 and transported them,” he said.

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Many countries see merit in greater national capabilities, feel globalisation has not been fair: Jaishankar | India News

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NEW DELHI: There is a sense that globalisation has not been fair and many countries and political thinkers today see merit and value in much great autonomy and much great national capabilities than before, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday.
Speaking at [email protected] Summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Jaishankar said deglobalisation is a much bigger phenomenon and different countries are uncomfortable with excessive dependence abroad.
He said India has been saying that countries want to take “control of their lives”.
“Deglobalistaion of the world is a much bigger phenomenon. Different countries are uncomfortable with excessive dependence abroad. 21st century was very much a century where globalisation was desirable, but we’ve been saying for five years or more that countries want to take control of their lives,” he said in his address through video conferencing.
The minister said some countries have benefitted more and within the countries, some people are benefitted more.
“Many countries and political thinkers today see merit and value in much great autonomy and much great national capabilities than before. Parts of that also comes out of the sense that globalisation has not been fair, that some countries have benefitted more and within the countries, some people are benefitted more,” he said.
Jaishankar said a different definition of globalisation relates to issues facing the world.
“I would ask you to look at a different definition of globalisation, that is global issues from which there is no escape. There is no escape from climate change, pandemics and increasingly, I think, there is no escape from terrorism. That, to me, is really globalisation,” he said.

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New low-pressure area forming over Bay of Bengal, rainfall expected in many parts of Odisha till Wednesday | India News

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BHUBANESWAR: A low-pressure area, likely to form over the Bay of Bengal by Sunday, is likely to trigger heavy rainfall coupled with strong winds in many parts of Odisha, the Met Department here said.
Several places in the state have already been battered by heavy downpour in the last few days under the influence of a low-pressure area over north Bay of Bengal.
A cyclonic circulation now lies over northwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas, the department said on Saturday.
Under its impact, another low-pressure area is likely to form over north and adjoining central Bay of Bengal by Sunday, said H R Biswas, director of Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar.
Rainfall of varying intensity is expected to lash many parts of the state till August 12, he said.
As strong surface winds with speeds reaching 40-50 kmph may prevail over westcentral Bay of Bengal, fishermen are advised not to venture into deep sea till Tuesday, the Met office said.
Issuing a ‘yellow warning’ for Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri, Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Bargarh, Boudh, Kandhamal and Koraput till Sunday morning, it said heavy rainfall is likely to occur in some places in these districts during the period.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also expected at some places in Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Gajapati districts.
The MeT office has issued an ‘orange warning’ for Malkangiri, Koraput, Bolangir, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Kandhamal districts, where heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is forecast on Monday.

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Survivors of Kozhikode air crash yet to recover from shock | India News

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KOZHIKODE: Several injured passengers of the ill-fated Air India Express flight from Dubai which overshot the runway and crashed at the airport here are yet to get over the horror moments that took them close to death. It was a black Friday for all the 184 passengers who after a long wait managed to get tickets in the repatriation flight from Dubai as part of the Centre’s Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to coronovirus pandemic.
“We did not realise what really happened other than the flight was shaking,” said Ramshad, who was injured as the aircraft dived into the valley and broke into two portions on Friday night after landing amid rains.
Though he was injured, Ramshad’s wife Sufaira and four- year old daughter Saidasherin escaped without any serious wounds.
Similar is the experience of Ashraf, a native of east Kozhikode, now under treatment at the Medical College Hospital here, who said he was yet to recover from the shock.
“As soon the flight crashed, the emergency door was opened and people jumped out to safety, another survivor said.
Ashik, undergoing treatment at a hospital here, said the fire force personnel reached immediately and shifted the injured to hospital soon.
Eighteen people, including pilot-in command Captain Deepak Sathe and Co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those killed in the accident. Four cabin crew are among the 172 people who escaped with injuries.
The incident also saw local people joining the police and Fire and Force personnel in rushing to the rescue of the victims despite pouring rains and unmindful of social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols.
Dr Shimna Azeer, a doctor of a private hospital in Malappuram, who attended to a few of the injured brought there, said she was astonished at the manner in which the volunteers from the accident spot quickly managed to bring the affected.
In spite of the restrictions imposed due to containment and the heavy downpour that lashed since evening, the volunteers did a fantastic job, forgetting all protocols of social distancing or wearing masks which were fully wet during the course of rescue operations, Azeer said.

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How to Set Goals for Every Content Piece You Create

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Are you guilty of producing and publishing content simply for the sake of doing so?

Maybe you were once told that a surefire way to increase your presence on the SERPs is to regularly publish 500-word blog posts on the grounds that “Google loves fresh content.”

On the other hand, maybe you’ve just always been in the practice of producing as much content as possible, ticking a box against a requirement from above, placing more of a focus on the number of pieces published rather than the quality.

If this sounds like the extent of your “content strategy,” then you need to take immediate action.

Stop it now!

Why?

Because, at best, you’re wasting your time.

There’s a good chance that producing content without a clear goal is doing very little for your brand.

There’s also every possibility that much of this would classify as thin content with no unique value.

The good news?

It’s easy to change old habits.

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You just need to understand how to put a purpose on every piece of content you create.

The Purpose of Content

Ask yourself a question:

“As a brand, why do you produce content?”

Seriously. Go ahead, write down your answer(s).

What did you come up with?

Hopefully, you have a list of a number of different purposes.

Some common answers include:

  • To keep our blog looking active.
  • Google likes to see regular content.
  • Our director wants five blog posts published every week.

If these are the types of answers you’d give, then you’re producing content simply for the sake of it.

There’s no real purpose behind the content you’re producing and, clearly, no goals in place.

This is a massive mistake. It can result in a significant waste of resources.

Every single piece of content you produce must have a purpose.

Your content should be working toward one or more wider marketing goals.

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You should be able to justify to anyone why you took the decision to write that blog post or design that infographic.

What then, can the purpose of a piece of content look like?

4 Simple Content Purposes

Typically (and there’s always exceptions), content will be produced for one of the following reasons:

  • To earn links.
  • To rank on the SERPs.
  • To educate an audience.
  • To drive social engagement.

It’s all about understanding what any specific piece of content can do for your brand.

  • How can it work hard toward wider marketing goals?
  • Is it good enough to actually achieve any of these?
  • Does it need to take a certain format to do so?

Here’s a deeper look at these four content purposes.

1. To Earn Links

Maybe you’re using content marketing as a link building tactic – producing story-first content which is then covered, and linked to, by top-tier publications.

This will likely be produced in a way which is accessible to journalists:

  • Data-driven infographics.
  • Interactive tools.
  • Survey results.

Think “linkable assets” and you’re somewhere along the right lines.

This certainly isn’t exclusive, however.

Common types of content produced with the intention of earning links include:

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No one content format earns links, and that’s OK.

You can’t be expected to stick to one type of content, rather understand during the strategy and planning stage of a campaign that links are the goal.

We’re typically not talking 10,000-word guides here, rather something linkable and which adds fresh, data-driven value to a topic.

With this in mind, we know that links are one of the main ranking signals used by Google.

Without big links, you’ll struggle to gain visibility.

As such, every brand, regardless of whether they’re competing on a local scale as a brick and mortar store or are an ecommerce giant, needs to be producing content with the purpose of landing links.

Content that earns links needs to be amazing.

Not just good.

Not great.

Amazing.

Link building gets harder and harder, however with the right ideas and an understanding as to the goals, both ideation and production can align to deliver content solely intended for this purpose.

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2. To Rank on the SERPs

If you want to earn traffic from organic search, you need to rank in top positions.

It’s as simple as that.

Long gone are the days when you can rank with garbage content, however. Panda put an end to that.

If the purpose of the content you’re producing is to rank and earn organic traffic, it’s likely you’ll be creating something very different than if you’re looking to land links.

Again, that’s absolutely fine. It’s all about acknowledging the purpose of the content and aligning the format and production to the goals.

Let’s look at an example.

If you’ve carried out keyword research and established that there’s the potential to earn high-quality traffic through a top ranking for the term “free things to do in San Francisco” (let’s, for a moment, say you’re marketing a travel brand).

When the purpose of the content is to rank, it needs to be the best piece about the topic.

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Work to this principle and you’ll already be miles ahead of many competitors, but this is one of the areas where marketers commonly fall down.

Remember our discussion above around writing 500-word blog posts that add no value to a topic?

Listen up…

If you want to rank in prominent organic positions for searches of “free things to do in San Francisco”, you’re going to struggle unless you’re able to create the very best guide on the web.

Think about it.

Google, Bing and the other search engines want to return the best and most relevant results for a query.

So why would they rank content that isn’t up to scratch?

It’s simple. They won’t.

Again, we come back to the fact that it’s easy to waste time and resources producing content if you’ve not properly aligned to goals and understand the purpose behind it.

In terms of creating the very best content, you need to understand what makes a piece better than another and it’s why it’s so important to spend time analyzing the SERPs for terms before you move into production.

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That way you can look to establish the commonalities between first page rankings and understand ways in which you can enhance those already ranking at the top.

It’s a common misconception that you can knock a result off the top spots by simply increasing the length.

If only!

Creating the best result for a specific search query goes far beyond this.

It’s important that you consider searcher intent (what does the user actually want to read and engage with), user experience, and other factors.

Think of it this way:

If you’re able to find 100 free things to do in San Fran, who really wants to read a straight-up, bulleted list? That’s by no means the best format for a #1 ranking.

What would better meet the searcher’s query and intent is a filterable guide which allows you to sort by the type of ‘to do’ – for families, couples, solo travelers, etc. – complete with specific location information, contact details, images, reviews, and a write-up.

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See the difference?

When the purpose of your content is to rank, you need to focus on what will result in that happening rather than falling into a trap of producing sub-par 500-word blog posts.

3. To Educate an Audience

Content is typically produced as marketing material.

That means there will always be content intended to educate an audience – that with the goal of moving potential clients and customers through the sales funnel.

In many cases, there’s a lot of crossover between content produced with the purpose of ranking and that which educates, however, there are also instances where these are done in a silo.

For example, an ebook or white paper that typically won’t rank on its own under competitive terms but has a definite place in the overall marketing strategy.

When it comes to producing content that educates, take the time to understand the questions your audience is asking as well as conducting a detailed content gap analysis against competitors.

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It’s all about ensuring that:

  • When a potential customer searches for information relating to the products or services you offer, you’ve produced content that answers their questions – and it’s ranking.
  • Once this user lands on your site, there’s further content that pushes them through the sales funnel.

Bottom line: such content can take many different forms.

Content absolutely doesn’t need to be produced solely for the purpose of ranking or earning links, so long as you’ve got the justification as to how it plays a role in the wider strategy.

4. To Drive Social Engagement

You can’t ignore social media.

For many brands, it’s a powerful platform to drive brand awareness and engagement.

From a content perspective, however, to see real success you need to produce content solely for the purpose of driving social engagement – again showcasing just how content needs to be produced with a goal in mind, not just for the sake of it.

We’re all aware that video does well across social platforms, as do images, quizzes, and other fun, interactive formats.

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If that’s the case, that’s what brands need to focus on creating.

A 5,000-word guide written with the goal of ranking on the SERPs is likely going to tank on social media.

It’s just not what social audiences want to consume (unless there’s something really special within it that can generate shares, likes, and buzz).

However, a quiz or competition may only perform on social.

When you’re producing content with a purpose, however, that’s absolutely fine. So long as it meets its own goal, no problems.

By all means, understand the value of social (you’d be crazy not to).

However, don’t be tempted to try to utilize content for different purposes if it seems difficult to do so.

Focus on seeing great results from the main goal and move on to producing a different type of content to meet other goals.

Not Every Piece of Content Ticks All Boxes

There’s often a tendency to try and align a single piece of content with multiple goals, trying to produce something which will earn links, rank at the top of the SERPs for high volume terms, educate audiences, and drive strong engagement on social media.

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Sorry, it’s unlikely to happen.

Just as it’s a mistake to have no strategy in place and to produce content simply for the sake of doing so, it also isn’t advisable to try to tick too many boxes with a single piece.

Think about it.

Content requires a significant investment both in time and, often, financial resources when done right.

As a brand, it’s important that it performs as part of the wider marketing strategy – be that to drive awareness, direct sales, or contribute towards another channel (e.g., SEO).

When you make the mistake of setting multiple purposes for a content piece, you’re ultimately going to have to make sacrifices somewhere.

Maybe you need to go wordier to rank when you wanted to keep it simple and visual for social sharing.

Maybe you really needed to earn links but decide to go long-form to rank as well…

It gets messy, doesn’t it?

Taking this approach results in content that underperforms and, in reality, ends up being a waste of time and resources.

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You’re far better off focusing upon a single purpose for content and executing to the best of your ability.

Sometimes there will be a crossover between different purposes. But always look to identify a single reason why you’re producing every content piece.

No one expects a single piece of content to achieve everything for a brand and for this reason, you need to focus on smashing goals and KPIs relating to the main purpose. Anything else is a bonus.

Take the time to educate your wider team and work to ensure everyone is on the same page, understanding the goal of every piece of content to drive forward success and ensure that resources aren’t being wasted on content which, in reality, does nothing for a brand.


Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita



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LeT terror financing network busted in Jammu, 6 held | India News

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JAMMU: With the arrest of six accused, police have busted a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror financing network in Jammu, Mukesh Singh, Inspector General of Police, Jammu said on Saturday.
According to the police, the arrested accused have been identified as Mudasir Farooq Bhat, Tauqil Ahmad Bhat, Asif Bhat, Khalid Latif Bhat, Gazi Iqbal and Tariq Hussain Mir.
Singh told a press conference, “We got information that a terror financing network is operating in Jammu. Special Operations Group (SOG), Jammu, called up Mudasir Farooq Bhat, resident of Doda, for interrogation and subsequently arrested him after his confession about links with Lashkar-e-Taiba financing network.”
“On July 19, police seized a tiffin box containing Rs 1.5 lakh. On further interrogation, he disclosed other details on the basis of which, we arrested five more people having links with LeT. A case has been registered under section 38 (Membership of LeT) and 40 (Financing and other support activities) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,” said Singh.
He said that all these accused were working for Haroon Ilias Khubeb (Mohammad Naveen Bhat), resident of Doda. Haroon was trained with the LeT in Pakistan in 1997.
“Haroon came back to Doda and was involved in LeT activities. He then went back to Pakistan in 2006. Since then he has been working for the organisation and is active there,” Singh said.
“Haroon has created this network in Jammu which had been taking part in LeT activities for the last two-three years. A man named Abid Ahmad Bhat was recruited and was killed in an encounter in 2018. Another person named Jamaldin was recruited and had been arrested in 2019 and is in jail at present,” said the Inspector General.
They were being paid for performing terror activities and a total of Rs 12.5 lakh has been transferred to them through Attari Border and other channels. Hawala transactions were made through Mumbai and some of the money was transferred through electronic mode.
Singh said they were planning something bigger in future.
“We don’t have specific information regarding any activity that they were planning on August 5 or 15, but yes the attempt was to reactivate and probably, they were planning something bigger in future,” Mukesh Singh said.

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A ‘back home’ last selfie goes viral, but passenger does not make it | India News

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KOZHIKODE: A selfie taken by Sharufudheen Pillassery, along with his wife and three-year-old daughter in PPE kits inside the Air India Express flight from Dubai that crashed here, has gone viral as reports emerged that the journey turned out to be his last trip.
Before take off, Pillassery had posted the selfie, on his Facebook page with the caption “Back Home”.
However, he did not make it.
The selfie shows the 35-year-old man and family in Personal Protective Equipment kits and face shield onboard the AIE flight,which overshot the runway here and fell 35 feet into a valley below, killing 18 passengers.
While Sharufudheen succumbed to his injuries, his wife is seriously injured and undergoing treatment in a Kozhikode hospital.
Theirdaughter, who suffered minor injuries, has been handed over to her grandparents.
Another tragic case is that of 29-year-old Sahira Banu‘s whose dream was to get a government job for herself and though married with three children, thatyearning never left her.
She had gone to Dubai hardly 10 months ago and had taken the AIE flight to pursue her dream, a relative said.
Her three minor children were also with her.
While two of her children, who survived, are undergoing treatment in two private hospitals, her youngest 10-month-old son died along with his mother in the crash.

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‘Plane shook violently, it all went dark’: Survivors recall Kerala crash | India News

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KOCHI: Survivors and witnesses of the tragic plane crash in Kerala recounted the horror that unfolded on Friday evening as the Air India Express jet skidded off the tabletop runway, cracked into two and left at least 18 dead.
In a telephone interview from his hospital bed, Renjith Panangad, a plumber who was returning home for the first time in three years after losing his job at a construction company in Dubai, said the plane swayed before the crash and everything went dark.
He said he followed other passengers who crawled their way out of the fuselage through the emergency exit.
“A lot of passengers were bleeding,” said Panangad, who escaped without major injuries. “I still can’t comprehend what happened. As I am trying to recall what happened, my body is shivering.”
He said the pilot made a regular announcement before landing, and moments after the plane hit the runway, it nosedived.
“There was a big noise during the impact and people started screaming,” he said.
“We did not realise what really happened other than the flight was shaking,” said Ramshad, who was injured as the aircraft dived into the valley and broke into two portions.
Though he was injured, Ramshad’s wife Sufaira and four-year old daughter Saidasherin escaped without any serious wounds.
Similar is the experience of Ashraf, a native of east Kozhikode, who said he was yet to recover from the shock.
“As soon the flight crashed, the emergency door was opened and people jumped out to safety,” another survivor said.
Ashik, undergoing treatment at a hospital, said the fire force personnel reached immediately and shifted the injured to hospital soon.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ajeet Singh, who was one of the eye-witnesses of the crash, said that he was talking to a colleague when he saw the plane falling towards the parameter road.
“I went to the field around 7.30pm for the third round and reached the gate number 2, which is an emergency fire gate, where ASI Mangal Singh was on duty. I sought the beat book from him to sign. When I was talking to him, I saw an Air India Express flight falling towards the parameter road,” Singh said.
He said that he immediately informed the control room, officials concerned and rescue teams.
“Line members and fire teams came for the rescue. We immediately opened gate number 8. Around 25-30 volunteers and a JCB entered the premises and started the rescue operation by removing the debris, under which passengers were stuck,” Singh said.
“The CISF personnel entered the crashed plane and rescued the people from inside took them to the ambulance, which came in from gate number 8 and transport them,” he added.
The 2-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode carrying 174 adult passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and four cabin crew on board. It was a Vande Bharat repatriation flight which was bringing back Indians stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The plane overshot the tabletop runway at Kozhikode airport while landing in heavy rain and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two, killing at least 18 people and leaving many injured.

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At least five Indian airports have tabletop runways | India News

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NEW DELHI: Constructed on elevated terrains and mostly having little space for last minute maneuver, tabletop runways at times pose challenges for pilots while landing their aircraft.
And Air India Express planes have crashed at least twice on such runways in little over a decade.
At least five airports, including at Kozhikode where an Air India Express aircraft crashed on Friday, have tabletop runways.
Tabletop runways are constructed on hilly or elevated terrains. Also, there could be low lying areas adjacent to such runways and there could be gorges at the end of such runways.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Arvind Singh told PTI that tabletop runways are there at four airports operated by it. They are at Kozhikode, Mangalore (Karnakata), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) and Pakyong (Sikkim).
The Lengpui airport in Mizoram, which is with the state government, also has a tabletop runway.
State-owned AAI operates 137 aerodromes, including the ones through joint ventures.
A senior Air India pilot said that automation might not help in the case of tabletop runways. There is also the issue of optical illusion, where the runway might seem to be nearer whereas it would actually be further away, he added.
The pilot also stressed that there is not much buffer zone unlike normal runways.
There are tabletop runways in different parts of the world and only when the runway length is less, there could be issues with landing of aircraft. In the case of Kozhikode airport, the runway is about 9,000 feet which is quite long, according to a senior regulatory official.
Tabletop runways are there at some airports, both in north and south India, he added.
According to the official, pilots are generally told about such runways and various restrictions.
In the Court of Inquiry report about the plane crash at Mangalore airport in May 2010, it was mentioned that there were three tabletop airports in the country from where scheduled flights operate at Mangalore, Kozhikode and Lengpui.
“Because of the undulating terrain and constraints of space, these airfields require extra skill and caution while carrying out flight operations.
“The hazard of undershooting and overshooting, in particular, can lead to grave situations, as was the case in this accident,” the report had said.
It had also said that tabletop runways have a problem of access roads around the airfield, which may need to be used in case of aircraft accidents.
Citing ICAO data, the report had also said that most of the accidents occur during landing and take-off phases, with a large number of runway excursions and aircraft overrunning into the overshoot area.
“Considering the large momentum of these aircraft, a downward slope in the overrun area can worsen the outcome. It is therefore recommended that such downward slopes as obtaining in Mangalore be brought to the same level of the runway surface.
“This also needs to be ensured at all tabletop airports in the country,” the report had said.
Regarding the Air India Express plane that crashed on Friday, AAI said it had touched down around 1,000 metres from the beginning of the runway at the Kozhikode airport before breaking up into two pieces.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft while landing overshot the runway and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces. The pilot of the flight — IX-1344 — could not sight the runway in the first landing attempt due to heavy rains.
An AAI spokesperson said that runway 28 was in use and in the first landing attempt the pilot could not sight the runway and requested for runway 10.
The pilot then steered the plane to runway 10 and came from the other side, according to an AAI official.
Citing information from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC), the spokesperson said the aircraft touched down near taxiway ‘C’, which is approximately 1,000 metres from the beginning of runway 10. The total length of the runway is 2,700 metres.
The spokesperson also said that it was raining over the airfield and reported visibility at the time of landing was 2,000 metres.

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Capt Sathe’s kin concerned about table-top airports: Deshmukh | India News

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NAGPUR: The family of Captain Deepak V Sathe, pilot of the ill-fated Air India Express flight which crashed, expressed concerns about ‘table-top airports’ in the country, Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh said here.
Captain Sathe and 17 others were killed when the plane crashed into a valley after overshooting the runway at Kozhikode airport in Kerala on Friday evening.
Deshmukh met his relatives here on Saturday to pay his condolences.
“The family expressed concerns about table-top airports in the country while speaking to me. They said the Civil Aviation Ministry should ensure that such incidents do not happen again,” he told reporters.
Table-top airport is the one located on the top of a plateau or hill.
A family member told PTI that Captain Sathe was a very experienced pilot, and he could not have made any mistake while landing.
The government should think about how to avoid such incidents at table-top airports, she said.

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