A helicopter carrying M. A. Yusuff Ali, the chairman of UAE-headquartered multinational company Lulu Group, made an emergency landing in Kochi, the south Indian state of Kerala, on Sunday, according to Indian media reports.
There were five people in the helicopter, including Yusuffali and his wife. All passengers are safe, but sustained minor injuries and have been taken to hospital, according to reports.
The helicopter made a forced landing into a deserted land near the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean studies near Panagad.
V Nandakumar, director of Marketing and Communications at Lulu, told Gulf News that Yusuffali, his wife Shabira and personal secretary Shahid P.K, along with the pilot and the co-pilot “are safe and stable after the pilot decided to make an emergency landing due to rainy weather.”
“It was not a crash-landing as some local media have reported. Due to the rain, the pilot gauged that the helicopter cannot continue flying further and he opted for landing in a marshland considering the safety of the passengers and the residents in the area.”
Nandakumar said the couple was on a personal trip ahead of Ramadan and were admitted to Lakeshore Hospital.
On Friday, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had conferred the Abu Dhabi Awards on Yusuffali and 11 others.
He was recognised for his support of national initiatives and events in the UAE including sports, culture, charitable and community-based projects. His support of many campaigns, both nationally and internationally, have positively impacted many local communities, said a WAM report.
– With inputs from Sajila Saseendran, Senior Reporter