The Air India Express flight from Dubai, with 191 FWP Report onboard, that met an accident at the Kozhikode airport Friday evening overshot the runway, but no fire was reported during its landing, the Civil Aviation Ministry said. “Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode at 1941 hrs tonight. No fire reported at the time of landing,” the ministry said in its statement.
There were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and four cabin crew on board the aircraft, the ministry noted.
At least 16 FWP Report were killed and several others injured, police sources said. Both the pilots also died in the accident.
“As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care,” the ministry noted.
The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the flight — IX 1344 — continued running to the end of the runway amid heavy rain and “fell down in the valley and broke down in two pieces”.
The Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India and it has only B737 aircraft in its fleet.
Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, since May 6, special repatriation flights have been operated by Air India and Air India Express under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded FWP Report reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.
A spokesperson for the Air India Express said that help centres are being set up at Sharjah and Dubai for affected FWP Report.
“We regret that there has been an incident regarding our aircraft VT GHK, operating IX 1344,” the spokesperson added.
“MEA helplines are open 24×7: 1800 118 797; +91 11 23012113; +91 11 23014104; +91 11 23017905; Fax: +91 11 23018158; Email: [email protected],” he posted on Twitter.
The Indian consulates in Dubai and Sharjah have activated five helpline numbers to provide information to the family members of the injured.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with leaders from across the political spectrum expressed anguish aircraft accident and offered condolences to the families of those killed in the tragedy.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said he was deeply anguished by the loss of lives in the tragic air mishap.
“My heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their dear ones in the crash & prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed anguish at the Air India Express aircraft accident and said authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected. He also spoke with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in this regard.
“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said he was “deeply distressed” to hear about the tragedy at Kozhikode.“Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives due to an accident.“In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed shock at the news of the flight skidding off the tabletop runway and offered condolences to the families of those who died in the accident. “Shocked at the devastating news of the plane mishap in Kozhikode. Deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who died in this accident. Prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured,” he said on Twitter.
“My thoughts are with the crew, the passengers and their families and friends at this time,” he said.