Air India Express flight carrying 191 onboard crashes; 16 dead
An Air India Express flight coming from Dubai to Kerala's Kozhikode with as many as 191 people on board crashed after skidding off the runway while landing at the Karipur Airport on Friday. At least 16 people have reportedly lost their lives, while many others are said to be injured. Ambulances and fire tenders have been rushed to the spot. Here are more details.
Incident comes amid heavy rainfall in the area
The Dubai-Kozhikode flight IX-1344, which is a Boeing 737, reportedly landed at around 7:45 pm at the Calicut International Airport. The aircraft appeared to have overshot the runway, reported News18 citing Air India Express sources. The incident reportedly took place due to the heavy rainfall in the airport area after 7:00 pm.
Here's a video from the incident at Kozhikode airport
There were 6 crew members on board: Air India Express
Following the incident, Air India Express issued a statement, saying, "There were total 184 passengers, including 10 infants and 6 crew members, including two pilots, onboard Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) that skidded during landing at Karipur Airport today."
Pilots of the aircraft also among the dead: Reports
"Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) skidded during landing at Karipur Airport at around 7.45 pm today," Kondotty Police was quoted as saying by ANI. After skidding off the tabletop runway, the aircraft fell into a 50-feet valley and split into two parts. Both the pilots of the aircraft have lost their lives in the mishap, reported The Indian Express.
At least 120 injured; 15 in serious condition: Authorities
Authorities said that over 120 people were injured in the incident, while 15 of them are in a critical condition. The Air India Express flight was part of the government's Vande Bharat Mission for evacuating Indians stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
No fire reported at time of landing: Aviation Ministry official
Meanwhile, Rajeev Jain, Additional Director-General (Media) of the Civil Aviation Ministry, stated that no fire was reported on the aircraft at the time of landing. He added that rescue operations are underway and the injured are being taken to the hospital. "Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being rushed to Karipur Airport... for search & rescue," stated NDRF Director-General, SN Pradhan.
DGCA orders detailed probe into the matter
Notably, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a detailed inquiry into the mishap. "A Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight fell down into the valley after landing at Runway 10 of Karipur Airport & broke down in two pieces. Visibility was 2,000 meters at the time of landing," the DGCA Director said.
Kerala CM instructs police, fire forces to take urgent action
Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, has issued directives to the police and fire departments to take urgent action in wake of the mishap at the Karipur Airport. "Have instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash...in Karipur. Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support," he said.