The death toll in Kerala flight crash landing incident rose to 18, Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan told The Quint on Saturday, 8 August. He further added that 17 of them have been identified and 16 others remain critical.
Earlier, Air India Express Officials said that while the two pilots are among the deceased, four cabin crew members on board the aircraft are safe.
Air India flight (IX-1344) from Dubai carrying 190 passengers skidded off the runway during landing at Karipur Airport in Kozhikode, Kerala on Friday.
In a press release, Air India Express mentioned that a special relief flight has been arranged from Mumbai and Delhi for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and their family members.
There were total 190 passengers, including 174 adult passengers,10 infants, 4 cabin crew and 2 pilots on board the plane that broke into two pieces at the airport. The injured are admitted in hospitals in Malappuram & Kozhikode.
Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said that the flight overshot the runway in rainy conditions and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told ANI that the flight was at full speed while landing at the airport and overshot the runway.
The DGCA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) said that no fire was reported at the time of the incident. The DGCA has also ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter.
MP ET Mohammed Basheer told ANI that one passenger is still stuck inside the aircraft but he is safe.
NDRF DG SN Pradhan told ANI that most passengers sustained injuries.
“We must remember that it is a tabletop runway at Kozhikode. There seems to have been injuries among all the passengers and some of them are unconscious. An NDRF team has been rushed to the spot and should be reaching any time there to join search and rescue operation,” he said.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) said that no fire was reported at the time of the incident.
A detailed inquiry has been ordered.#Kerala #KozhikodeAirCrash pic.twitter.com/Wr68dw814E
— Smitha T K (@smitha_tk) August 7, 2020
Kerala CM Directs Action
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said that he has instructed authorities to take urgent action.
“Have instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Kozhikode International airport (CCJ) in Karipur. Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support,” he tweeted.
‘Pained,’ Says PM Modi, Speaks to Vijayan
PM Modi took to Twitter to offer condolences and said that authorities are at the spot providing all necessary assistance.
“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. Spoke to Kerala CM regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected,” he tweeted.
PM Modi spoke to CM Vijayan on phone about the incident, the chief minister’s office said. The CM reportedly informed PM Modi that a team of officials including Kozhikode and Malappuram District Collectors and IG Ashok Yadav have arrived at the airport and are participating in the rescue operation.
Civil aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri also tweeted late on Friday night offering condolences to the families of people who’ve lost their lives.
As per the flight manifest there were 190 people on flight AXB-1344 including 174 adult passengers,10 infants, 4 cabin crew & 2 pilots.
Unfortunately, 16 people have lost their lives. I offer my heartfelt condolences to their next of kin & pray for speedy recovery of the injured.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 7, 2020
Home Minister Amit Shah said that he has instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest.
“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,” he tweeted.
President, Ministers React to Tragedy
President Ran Nath Kovind said he was ‘deeply distressed’ to hear about the crash and spoke to the Kerala Governor to inquire about the situation.
“Deeply distressed to hear about tragic plane crash of Air India Express flight at Kozhikode, Kerala. Spoke to Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan & inquired about the situation. Thoughts & prayers with affected passengers, crew members & their families,” he tweeted.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar took to Twitter to say that he is ascertaining further details of the incident.
“Deeply distressed to hear about the Air India Express tragedy at Kozhikode. Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, expressed shock at the news.
“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 tweeted.
. Read more on India by The Quint.18 Dead as Air India Plane Skids Off Kerala Runway, Snaps in Two‘A History Overlooked’, says South-Asian American Archive Director . Read more on India by The Quint.