17 killed, 112 injured as Air India plane breaks into two after landing in Kerala | The Daily Star
10:14 PM, August 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:17 AM, August 08, 2020

17 killed, 112 injured as Air India plane breaks into two after landing in Kerala

At least 17 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed and 112 people injured after an Air India Express Boeing 737 aircraft carrying 195 people from Dubai skidded off the runway and fell into a gorge amid torrential rain at Kozhikode airport in Kerala last night.

Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan said 17 persons died and the injured were admitted to three hospitals in Kozhikode for treatment, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Kozhikode comes under Malappuram district of Kerala, which has been experiencing heavy downpours for the last three days.

Among those killed were pilot Dipak Sathe and co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar of Flight IX-1344, authorities said.

The directorate general of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement that the "aircraft skidded off the runway, crashed into a wall and then fell into a valley, splitting into two" around 7:40pm Indian time.

Air India said flight IX 1344 was a Boeing-737 aircraft.

Most people on board were evacuated and at least 112 of them were injured and admitted to hospitals, where the condition of at least 60 was stated to be serious.

There were 179 passengers, 10 Infants, two pilots and four cabin crew members on board the aircraft.

The plane, which was bringing back stranded Indians and four cabin crew members, fell into a 35-feet deep gorge and broke into two pieces after sliding off the runway, India's Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Puri said a formal inquiry into the incident would be conducted by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.

The front portion of the aircraft was badly mangled, said SN Pradhan, director general of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF).

Visuals from the accident site showed the broken aircraft with debris strewn over the runway and beyond.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed anguish at the accident and said authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected. He also spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in this regard.

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