Kozhikode: At least 20 people were killed, including the pilot and co-pilot, and around 100 injured when an Air India Express flight from Dubai—part of “Vande Bharat Mission” skidded off the table-top runway at Karirpur airport in Kozhikode on Friday evening. The aircraft, with 190 people on board, was attempting to land in bad weather, overshot the runway and fell into a valley, splitting into two portions.
The aircraft plunged 35 feet into the valley at the edge of the runway while it was making a second attempt to touchdown amid heavy rainfall at around 7:41 pm.
In a statement, the DGCA said, “Visibility was 2,000 meters and there was heavy rain.” It said “the flight, IX-1344, shot runway 10. Rescue operations, which went on till 11 pm, are over.”
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said relief teams from Air India and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will reach Kozhikode on Saturday, from Delhi and Mumbai. He ordered a probe by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.
Deeply anguished & distressed at the air accident in Kozhikode.
The @FlyWithIX flight number AXB-1344 on its way from Dubai to Kozhikode with 191 persons on board, overshot the runway in rainy conditions & went down 35 ft. into a slope before breaking up into two pieces.
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) August 7, 2020
The director-general of National Disaster Response Force, S N Pradhan, said Calicut airport had a “table-top runway” and that the aircraft fell into “a ditch” after skidding across it.
He said the impact with the bottom of the ditch caused the aircraft to break in two, and that the front half was “very badly mangled and damaged”.
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 @vijayanpinarayi Ji regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 7, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the tragedy and said he had spoken with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu expressed their concern and offered condolences to the families of those killed in the mishap. Leaders from all political spectrum joined and offered their condolences.
People in Kozhikode (Calicut) town gathered at large outside blood banks at the midnight after the district administration flagged for running out of the blood.