The Air India Express flight was about to land when the accident happened. After overshooting the runway, the aircraft broke into several pieces.
An Air India Express flight with 191 passengers on board en route from Dubai skidded off the runway while landing at Kerala’s Kozhikode on Friday evening, television news channels reported. One of the pilots of the aircraft is believed to have been killed in the accident. Preliminary images from the accident site showed the aircraft split into two pieces with debris all over the runway. At least, 40 passengers are believed to be injured, according to initial reports.
The Air India Express flight was about to land when the accident happened. After overshooting the runway, the aircraft broke into pieces. The incident took place amid very heavy rainfall in the area. The flight skidded off the runaway amidst bad weather at 7.38 pm. There were 191 passengers, including crew members on board the flight.
The Air India Express flight AXB1344, B737 from Dubai to Calicut was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, meant to bring home stranded people from other countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kozhikkode airport is a tabletop airport like the one in Mangaluru. A local MLA, TV Ibrahim said that many passengers have been admitted in hospital with injuries and luckily the plane did not catch fire.
The Air India Express plane allegedly fell into a 30 feet deep gorge, while landing at the Karipur Airport in Kozhikode.
“We are still searching for around 100 people,” said officials who said that shortage of torches and incessant rain were causing the rescue process to halt.
India’s top aviation body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter.
The Dubai-Kozhokode flight X1344, a Boeing 737, had 184 passengers on board and landed at 7:41pm at the airport. According to airlines sources, it appeared to have overshot the runway.
“The Air India flight (IX-1344) from Dubai carrying 174 passengers skidded during landing at Karipur Airport in Kozhikode (Kerala) today. There were six crew members onboard, including two pilots,” Air India Express said in a statement.
Rescue operations are underway.