At least 18 people died and more than 100 others were injured after an Air India Express carrying 190 passengers from Dubai skidded off the runway and split into two at Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur, Kerala on late Friday evening. The two pilots of the plane were among the deceased while all the four cabin crew members are safe and sound, confirmed the airline.
As per latest reports, as many as 127 people are currently undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Kerala. A large majority of them have been admitted to hospitals in Malappuram and Kozhikode.
While speaking to media, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed, “18 people, including two pilots, have lost their lives, it is unfortunate. 127 people are at hospitals, others have been released.”
“Our task would have been much more difficult if the plane had caught fire. I am going to the airport,” said Puri.
He went on to add, “Under the Vande Bharat Mission, the flight was coming from Dubai carrying 190 passengers. Pilot must have tried to bring the flight to the end of tabletop airport’s runway where it skidded due to slippery conditions owing to monsoon.”
Around 40 injured passengers are admitted to MIMS Hospital in Calicut while around 12 people, who were admitted in ICU last night, are in stable condition now. Meanwhile, dead bodies are being taken to Kozhikode Medical College for COVID-19 test.
Earlier in the day, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan reached Kozhikode while Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Arif Mohammad Khan announced they will visit the crash site today.
Meanwhile, two special relief flights have been arranged from Delhi and one from Mumbai for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and the family members. AAIB, DGCA and Flight Safety Depts have reached to investigate the incident, confirmed Air India Express.
Reportedly, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DG), Civil Aviation Ministry senior officials, Airports Authority of India, and Air Navigation Service members will meet in Delhi today to discuss the tragic incident.
Earlier on Friday evening, an Air India Express Dubai-Kozhikode IX-1344 flight, carrying 190 people on board from Dubai under the Vande Bharat Mission, skidded off the runway at Karipur Airport in Kozhikode.