Kozhikode : An Air India Express plane carrying 191 people, including crew, veered off the runway at Kozhikode’s Karipur airport around 7.41 pm Friday evening, plunging into gorge 30-40 feet below amid landing. The passengers included 10 infants, 175 elderly citizens, two pilots and five cabin crew. 18 including former IAF test pilot, Captain DV Sathe and co -pilot , have been confirmed dead by the authorities. Over 112 passengers have been rushed to hospital, some of who are said to be critical.
The airline spokesperson said the aircraft probably overshot the runway as the grounds were battered by heavy rains.
The flight IX 1344 had taken off from Dubai and was part of the Vande Bharat Mission fetching Indians stranded abroad owing to pandemic conditions. Early pictures show the plane broken into two with wreckage all around.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan deputed Minister for Local Bodies, AC Moideen and an iG to oversee rescue operations. CM had directed officials to make all necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support. National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) teams too has reached the scene to assist rescue operations.
Control Room has been set up for assistance post the accident. The numbers are : 0483-2719493, 0495-237. 6901