Air India express plane carrying 191 people on board crashed in Kerala

15 dead, dozens injured as plane skid off the runway during landing


      An Air-Indian flight from Dubai (IX-1344) skidded during landing at the Karipur Airport in Kozhikode, Kerala and broke in to two at around 7.45 pm on Friday, the Kondotty police said.The landing conditions were worse than usual due to the heavy rain. 

The Boeing-737 plane skidded off the runway while attempting to land in heavy rain. Its fuselage then split in two. There was no fire on board, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement. 

The flight from Dubai had 174 adult passengers, 10 children, five crew members, and two pilots in the flight. The flight was part of the Vande Bharat programme that has been bringing back Indians from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fifteen persons were critically injured. At least, 100 or more were also injured. The co-pilot and another cabin crew member, Shilpa Katara, were among those seriously injured.

The pilot had tried for a second landing after the first attempt failed. During the second attempt , the aircraft's tyres got locked, according to DGCA, which ordered a thorough probe into the mishap.

Passengers with minor injuries were admitted to Mercy and Relief Hospital, Kondotty. Those critical were admitted to Baby Memorial Hospital, MIMS hospital, and Government Medical College -- all three in Kozhikode.


According to a local resident Afzal, he heard a loud noise at 7.49 pm and rushed over to check. The plane had overshot the runway and slid down a slope and crashed into the airport wall, splitting neatly into two at the midsection. Local reports said it had been raining heavily in Kozhikode at the time of the landing.

The Kozhikode airport is a table-top airport, just like the Mangaluru airport, where a plane crash in 2010 killed all but one passenger. A table-top requires exact precision during landing. Landing in table top runways during heavy rains when visibility is poor is risky.

Eyewitnesses said they rushed to the airport hearing the crash. Initially they were not allowed inside by CISF personnel. But there was just one fire services vehicle for rescue. When the CISF personnel realised there were not enough staff to rescue the injured passengers who were wailing in pain, they allowed local residents to assist with the rescue and shift the injured on private vehicles before the ambulances began arriving. The NDRF, too, joined the relief and rescue operations at the airport.   

                                                                  Web Desk

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