Air India Flight Skids Off Runway At Calicut, Splits In Two

An Air India Express flight from Dubai to Kozhikode crashed after landing on the runway on Friday night.

An Air India Express flight from Dubai crashed after landing at Kozhikode International Airport on Friday night. According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India Express flight AXB1344 with 191 people on board skid off the runway and fell 35 feet down a slope before breaking into two pieces. In a statement, Air India Express confirmed the death of 18 people on board including both the pilots.

An Air India statement noted that no fire has been reported on the Boeing 737 aircraft. The 191 people on board include 184 passengers, two pilots and five cabin crew.

In a press release, Malappuram district collector K Gopalakrishnan said that 22 passengers were provided with primary medical attention and were then taken home. 149 passengers are currently being treated at various hospitals out of which 22 are in critical condition.

One of the deceased passengers has tested positive for COVID-19 PTI reports quoting Kerala Higher Education Minister KT Jaleel. Health Minister KK Shailaja has asked all those who were involved in rescue efforts to report themselves to the health authorities, get themselves tested and undergo home quarantine as a precautionary measure.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, who has reached Kozhikode to take stock of the situation, said that the Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder of the aircraft have been retrieved. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau will conduct an enquiry into the crash.

National Disaster Response Force teams are being rushed to the airport to help with rescue and relief efforts.

The Kozhikode International Airport was partly closed from 1 pm to 6 pm everyday for a period of four months from October 2019 for maintenance and taxiway-related works, according to a 2019 report in The Hindu. The maintenance works were taken up to prepare the runway for operating wide-bodied aircrafts operated by Emirates Airways and Air India.

This is the second crash involving an Air India Express flight after the deadly 2010 Air India Express Flight 812 crash in Mangalore which claimed the lives of 158 people including all six crew members.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai is operating helplines to provide updates and information to families of those affected by the crash. Here are the numbers: 056 546 3903, 0543090572, 0543090572, 0543090575.

Relatives of passengers on board can contact the helpline set up by the Malappuram Collectorate at 0483 - 2736320, the Kozhikode Collectorate at 0495 - 2376901 and the Airport Control Room at 0483 - 2719493.

Updated On: 2020-08-08T13:11:57+05:30
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