Indian aviation authorities have found the flight data recorder (black box) and cockpit voice recorder of the passenger plane that shot through and fell off the runway during the landing in Kozhikode on Friday. The death toll increased further to eighteen in the night from Friday to Saturday.
The finds are an important step in finding out the cause of the incident. Authorities can now read back the latest flight data from the aircraft and listen to communications within the cockpit.
The aircraft shot into a valley after landing and ended 10 meters lower on the ground, where it broke in two. At the time of the incident, the weather was very bad, with a lot of rainfall. According to the Indian Minister of Civil Aviation, a first attempt to land the aircraft had failed.
Both the pilot and co-pilot were killed in the crash. At least 123 occupants were injured, of which 16 are in very critical condition. All passengers are also tested for the corona virus, authorities report.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now expressed his condolences to the relatives via Twitter.
India's previous biggest plane crash was almost identical
It is the largest plane crash in India since 2010. Even then, an Air India Express Boeing 737 shot off the runway when returning from Dubai. At the time, 158 people were killed, only eight people survived the disaster.
The pilot may have been disoriented from sleeping for large parts of the flight.
Aircraft drama in India: 'Aircraft broke into three parts'