An Air India Express plane has skidded off the runway during landing at Karipur Airport in Kerala's Kozhikode city on Friday, August 7. The two pilots of the Air India Express aircraft have died and several others have been injured in the tragic incident.
Inputs say that eight others apart from the pilots have died. There are some fatalities, but an official confirmation is awaited.
Reportedly, around 174 passengers and seven crew members were there in the flight. The passengers evacuated are taken to nearby hospitals.
Names of the crew onboard in the pic
Taking to Twitter, former Union Minister KJ Alphons confirmed the news of the plane skidding off the runway and wrote, "Second tragedy of the day in Kerala : Air India Express skids off the run way at Kozhikode, front portion splits, pilot dies and lots of passengers injured. All passengers evacuated. Very lucky the aircraft didn't catch fire."
As per airport officials, the incident happened at around 7.40 pm. It was raining in Calicut.
Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), fire tenders and ambulances have been rushed to the spot of the accident.
Deceased pilot DV Sathe
The pilots of the ill-fated Air India Express Flight No IX 1344 from Dubai to Kozhikode was VD Sathe and it was co-piloted by Akhilesh Kumar. Both have died in the crash.
Captain Sathe was a former Indian Air Force Test pilot.
Passenger shares chilling details
"While landing, we heard the announcement of landing. During the time of landing, the flight was traveling at a sky-rocketing speed. After landing, I heard a loud noise. Everyone in the flight is badly injured except people who sit in the back rows," Jaya, a passenger told a local news channel.
Helpline numbers by Indian consulate in Dubai
The Indian consulate in Dubai has issued helpline numbers for the kin of those who were on board the Air India Express flight, which crashed at the Kozhikode airport some time back. The flight was part of Vande Bharat Mission and had taken off from Dubai.
"Air India Express Flight No IX 1344 from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway. We pray for well being of passengers and crew and will keep you updated as and when we receive further updates. Our helplines 056 546 3903, 0543090572, 0543090572, 0543090575," the consulate tweeted.
What caused the tragedy
According to sources from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), heavy rain might have impaired the vision of the pilot, and it could be one of the primary reasons behind the accident.
"Air India Express AXB1344, B737 Dubai to Calicut. Person on board 191, visibility 2000 meter, heavy rain, after landing Runway 10, continue running to the end of the runway and fall down in the valley and broke down in two pieces," said DGCA.
Home Minister Amit Shah reacts
"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," Amit Shah said.
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant says,
Reacting to the incident, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant tweeted, "Devastated to hear about the Air India Jet mishap in Calicut. It's a challenging hill top airport. I was District Collector, Calicut & had got the runway extended from 4500 to 6000 ft. Vast no of NRIs travel from this airport to Gulf & back. Pray for the safety of passengers."
Air India sets up helpline numbers for families of passengers of flight IX1344
Air India has set up helplines for families of passengers of IX1344: 0565463903, 0543090572. The injured passengers are being taken to MIMS hospital and Baby Memorial hospital in Calicut near the airport.