Indian expat businessman grateful to Panangad locals for help after April 11 accident
Abu Dhabi: UAE-based Lulu Group’s chairman and managing director M.A Yusuff Ali specially flew down to Kerala in India to give his “gift of love” to those who rescued him, his wife and others after a helicopter crash eight months ago, the retail group said on Sunday.
Ali, his wife Shabira and five others, including the pilot and co-pilot, had a narrow escape following a forced landing of their helicopter in a swamp amid heavy rains and winds on April 11 in Panangad, a small suburban village in Kochi.
Eight months after the accident, Ali visited the villagers who first came to their rescue without even knowing who they were, fulfilling his promise to meet them in person after recovering from the spinal cord injuries he had sustained in the crash.
The group said Yusuff Ali first visited the house of Rajesh, a local resident, and his wife Biji, who is a policewoman.
He recollected that it was Rajesh who first rushed to rescue the passengers after the helicopter made a belly landing in the waterlogged plot.
He thanked the couple for their invaluable rescue efforts despite the adverse weather and without knowing who and what.
Ali specifically thanked Rajesh for evacuating him and others from the accident site and providing them first aid. He also thanked Biji for running to the nearby police station to report the matter and bring the police force.
He said the local residents made an invaluable humanitarian intervention.
Presenting the couple and their young son and daughter with gifts and a cheque, which the group described as “gifts of love”, he also offered all possible support for the upcoming wedding of a relative of Rajesh, the group said.
Later, he went to survey the accident site with Rajesh and Biji and expressed his gratitude for his miraculous survival on that plot of land.
He also visited Peter, the owner of the plot where the accident took place and handed over gifts to him.
The accident had taken place when Ali was flying from his residence in Kadavanthra to visit a relative at a hospital in Nettoor. On Sunday, he was seen flying to the area in a helicopter and then taking a luxury car to be driven down to the accident site.
The local residents appreciated his gesture and expressed their gratitude.
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