A helicopter carrying United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indian business tycoon MA Yusuff Ali was forced to make an emergency landing in a marshy land in Ernakulam after it suffered a technical malfunction.
The helicopter was carrying five people including Lulu Group founder Yusuff Ali and his wife. Everyone inside the helicopter is reported to be safe. All the passengers have been admitted at a private hospital for a preliminary check-up.
The incident took place near Kumbalam Toll plaza in Panangad in Ernakulam on Sunday morning. The helicopter landed in a vacant plot, reportedly a swamp, near the service road around the toll plaza. The helicopter is reportedly owned by Yusuff Ali.
According to the police, there were five people inside the chopper, including Yusuff Ali, his wife and the pilots. The incident happened by around 9 am on Sunday morning. “No one is injured. But all the people on board the helicopter have been shifted to a private hospital in Kochi,” an official of Panangad police station said.
In the visuals from the spot, the helicopter can be seen lying close to the compound wall of the vacant plot where it landed.
A witness who spoke to Asianet News also stated that no one was injured but Yusuff Ali was complaining of minor body ache. “It was my wife who saw this and informed the police. It was raining heavily during that time. Police came to the spot in about 12 minutes and shifted them to hospital. A major tragedy could have occured if it had landed anywhere else,” said a resident in the region.
According to an eyewitness, the doors of the helicopter were jammed and four people were lifted out of the window. Eyewitnesses told the media that Yusuff Ali said his back was aching and he was removed from the copter and made to rest on the side, following which his wife and the other passengers were also taken out.
There were a few trees and a workshop nearby and eyewitnesses noted that it was good that the pilot could land without hitting any of this.
Kochi and nearby regions had witnessed heavy rain early Sunday morning. Though the reason for the emergency landing is not known yet, it is assumed to be a technical malfunction. Yusuff Ali recently received a top civilian award in Abu Dhabi for his charitable contributions to the country.
Watch: Visuals from the spot where the helicopter made the emergency landing
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)