Kozhikode: An Air India Express flight carrying 190 people from Dubai fell into the ditch after slipping on the runway during the landing amid heavy rains here on Friday. Officials said that after the fall, the plane broke into two and killed 17 people on board. Also Read – Kerala Aircraft Accident: Kozhikode Airport’s ‘tabletop’ runway is quite challenging, accident due to heavy rain!
Police and airlines officials said that the chief pilot Captain Deepak Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were also among the dead. Sathe was the first wing commander in the Indian Air Force. Air India Express said in a statement released at midnight, “Unfortunately the pilots have died and in this hour of grief we are in touch with their families.” Also Read – Kerala Aircraft Incident: Video after the incident surfaced, Air India aircraft seen divided into two pieces
The Civil Aviation Ministry said that flight number IX 1344 operated from Dubai by B737 slipped on the runway at Kozhikode at 7.41 pm on Friday. “There is no news of fire at the time of landing.” Also Read – Air India Express Plane Crash: PM Modi spoke to Kerala CM, Shah gave instructions to NDRF; Helpline number released
The ministry said, the aircraft had 184 passengers including 10 newborns, two pilots and four crew members. It was a flight under the Vande Bharat Mission to bring Indians back home. Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan confirmed the deaths of 17 people in a conversation with reporters. Their identity has not been established yet. He said that the condition of some of the injured is critical.
Rias, a rescued passenger, said that the aircraft circled the airport twice in the air before landing. He told a TV channel, “I was in the back seat. There was a loud voice and I don’t know what happened after that. “
Another passenger, Fatima, said that the aircraft landed down with great force and moved forward. The DGCA statement said that the aircraft did not stop after landing on the runway-10 and broke into two after reaching the end of the runway and falling into the ditch.
Air India Express has only B737 aircraft in its fleet. In the pictures shown on the TV of the accident site, the plane is seen broken in two parts and there was a lot of debris and stuff scattered around. Support centers are being built in Kozhikode, Sharjah and Dubai.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri tweeted that he is very sad and distressed by the plane crash. He informed that the relief teams of Air India and Airports Authority of India (AAI) are being immediately dispatched from Delhi and Mumbai. He tweeted, “Every effort is being made to help the passengers. The Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) will conduct a formal investigation into the accident. “
He said, “Air India Express flight number AXB-1344 was coming to Kozhikode from Dubai. The aircraft slipped off the runway due to rain and fell into two parts, falling 35 feet deep. “In another tweet made at 12 o’clock in the night, he said that the rescue operation was complete.
He said, “Two investigative teams of Air India, Airports Authority and AAIB will leave at two o’clock and five o’clock in the morning. All have been removed from the aircraft. Rescue work is now complete. The injured are being treated in various hospitals. “
Amid the rain, rescue personnel including local civilians and police were quick to take out the injured men and women from the aircraft. The aircraft broke into two big pieces with a loud sound and the passengers could not understand what happened in a moment.