India: Air India plane crash death toll rises
At least 18 people were killed and dozens others injured on Friday when a passenger plane skidded off the runway in the South Indian state of Kerala.
The Press Trust of India said, quoting local police sources that the pilot and 18 passengers were confirmed dead and dozens of other passengers sustained injuries as the Dubai-Kozhikode flight fell down into the valley after landing.
Local authorities said that the injured have been taken to nearby hospitals.
Kerala is in the face of a massive flood as incessant rains have hit the state. The torrential rain is said to have caused the mishap
In a statement issued, the airline said “Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode at 1941 hrs tonight. No fire reported at the time of landing. There are 190 passengers, 10 Infants , 2 Pilots and 4 cabin Crew on board the aircraft. As per the initial reports rescue operations are on and Passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care.”
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Flight Safety Departments have reached to investigate the incident. Two special relief flights from Delhi and one from Mumbai for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and the family members of the Air India Express crash-landing incident reached Kozhikode on Saturday.
Puri informed that two investigating teams have left for Kerala today.
“We pray for the quick recovery of the injured. It was a Vande Bharat flight carrying 190 passengers, it landed at 7:41 pm. The pilot must have tried to bring the flight to the end of tabletop airport’s runway where it skidded due to slippery conditions owing to monsoon,” the minister said.
Two special relief flights have been arranged from Delhi and one from Mumbai for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and the family members in the crash-landing incident at Kozhikode, according to Air India Express.