18 Dead as Air India Plane Skids Off Kerala Runway, Snaps in Two
The 190 people on-board include 10 infants and 4 crew members.
The death toll in Kerala flight crash landing incident rose to 18, Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan told The Quint on Saturday, 8 August. He further added that 17 of them have been identified and 16 others remain critical.
Air India flight (IX-1344) from Dubai carrying 190 passengers skidded off the runway during landing at Karipur Airport in Kozhikode, Kerala on Friday.
Earlier, Air India Express Officials said that while the two pilots are among the deceased, four cabin crew members on board the aircraft are safe.
- 01/04(Photo: Twitter/Hardeep Singh Puri)
- 02/04(Photo: Twitter/Hardeep Singh Puri)
- 03/04(Photo: Twitter/Hardeep Singh Puri)
- 04/04(Photo: Twitter/Hardeep Singh Puri)
In a press release, Air India Express mentioned that a special relief flight has been arranged from Mumbai and Delhi for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and their family members.
The Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder of the aircraft have been retrieved.
Passengers and Casualties
There were 190 passengers in total, including 174 adult passengers, 10 infants, four cabin crew and two pilots on board the plane that broke into two pieces at the airport. The injured are admitted in hospitals in Malappuram and Kozhikode.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said 149 people were admitted to hospitals, of which 23 have been discharged. Puri told ANI that a few patients are in critical condition and three are on ventilators.
“A few patients are in critical condition, three of them are on ventilators. We visited the site of crash and two black boxes have been recovered. The precise cause of the mishap will be determined when we analyse data in those black boxes,” he said.
Puri said that the flight overshot the runway in rainy conditions and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up in two.
Arvind Singh, AAI Chairman said that the aircraft could not land on the runway fesignated for it, following which it tried landing on another runway where the mishap occurred.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told ANI that the flight was at full speed while landing when it overshot the runway.
The DGCA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) said that no fire was reported at the time of the incident. The DGCA has also ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter.
NDRF DG SN Pradhan told ANI that most passengers sustained injuries.
Civil Aviation Minister Visits Site, Announces Compensation
Puri visited the site on Saturday morning and announced interim relief of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of each deceased, Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
“My heart goes out to the families & friends of the 18 people who lost their lives in the air accident involving Flight IX-1344 in Kozhikode last evening & offer my heartfelt condolences. Reasons for the mishap are being investigated,” he tweeted.
Puri had also tweeted late on Friday night offering condolences to the families of people who’ve lost their lives.
Kerala CM Directs Action
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had immediately instructed authorities to take urgent action.
“Have instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Kozhikode International airport (CCJ) in Karipur. Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support,” he had tweeted.
‘Pained,’ Says PM Modi, Speaks to Vijayan
PM Modi took to Twitter on Friday to offer condolences and said that authorities are at the spot providing all necessary assistance.
“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. Spoke to Kerala CM regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected,” he tweeted.
PM Modi spoke to CM Vijayan on phone about the incident, the chief minister’s office said. The CM reportedly informed PM Modi that a team of officials including Kozhikode and Malappuram District Collectors and IG Ashok Yadav have arrived at the airport and are participating in the rescue operation.
Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest.
“Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations,” he tweeted.
President, Ministers React to Tragedy
President Ran Nath Kovind said he was ‘deeply distressed’ to hear about the crash and spoke to the Kerala Governor to inquire about the situation.
“Deeply distressed to hear about tragic plane crash of Air India Express flight at Kozhikode, Kerala. Spoke to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan & inquired about the situation. Thoughts & prayers with affected passengers, crew members & their families,” he tweeted.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar took to Twitter to say that he is ascertaining further details of the incident.
“Deeply distressed to hear about the Air India Express tragedy at Kozhikode. Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, expressed shock at the news.
“Shocked at the devastating news of the plane mishap in Kozhikode. Deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who died in this accident. Prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.
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