Dr. Sanjay Khurana, who pulled Harrison Ford from the wreck of a plane crash, has described how he feared a fireball from the aircraft’s leaking fuel.
The spine surgeon was playing golf in Los Angeles when Harrison Ford’s vintage plane “belly-flopped” down on to the eighth hole.
Dr. Sanjay Khurana said Harrison Ford, 72, was “very lucky” to be alive.
After Thursday’s crash, Harrison Ford’s son said the actor was “battered but OK!”
The actor’s publicist said: “The injuries sustained are not life threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”
Dr. Sanjay Khurana, who witnessed the crash, said he initially feared the pilot would have “very serious, very tragic” injuries after the plane “dropped like a rock”.
But he said Harrison Ford looked “remarkably intact” when he and other golfers reached him.
“Obviously there was a pilot who was in distress and there was fuel leaking and so my concern was that it was going to ignite,” Dr. Sanjay Khurana told reporters.
He said the fuel leak was “pretty robust” and that he thought it could be set alight by “stray cigarette butts or electronics” so asked volunteers to cover it with dirt while he and others helped pull Harrison Ford from the plane.
“He’s not a small guy,” Dr. Sanjay Khurana added.
The rescuers did not immediately recognize the pilot but the surgeon said it did not take them long to work it out.
“I’m an 80s child so I grew up watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones,” Dr. Sanjay Khurana said.
“I’m a big fan.”
The nature of Harrison Ford’s injuries have not been disclosed but the TMZ website, which first reported the story, said he suffered “multiple gashes to his head”.
Shortly after take-off from Santa Monica Airport, Harrison Ford said he was experiencing engine failure with his 1942 Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR and was making an “immediate return”.
Harrison Ford was unable to reach the runway and eventually crash-landed on the Penmar Golf Course in Venice.
Officials said the plane had been flying at about 3,000 feet before losing altitude and clipping a tree on the way down.
Christian Fry of the Santa Monica Airport Association said it was “an absolutely beautifully executed emergency landing by an unbelievably well-trained pilot”.
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