An Air India Express passenger plane shot through and fell off the runway during the landing in the Indian city of Kozhikode on Friday. The authorities fear that there are at least 18 dead and at least 123 injured, of which 16 are in very critical condition.
The Boeing 737 of the budget airline Air India Express came from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On board were 174 adult passengers, 10 children, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew.
Around 8:15 p.m. local time, the plane overshot during landing at the international airport in the city in southwestern India.
According to the first images, the plane ended up 10 meters lower in a valley and broke in two. The plane did not catch fire.
The rescue operation has now been completed and the injured have been transferred to hospitals in the area.
'Pilot could not land in one go'
The weather conditions were bad, it was raining very hard. According to the Indian Minister of Civil Aviation, the pilot's first landing attempt was unsuccessful, so he turned and tried from another side. The minister adds that only an investigation can reveal the exact cause of the accident.
According to authorities, it was a flight that repatriated people of Indian nationality from the UAE who were unable to return home due to the corona virus. In the country millions of Indians are mainly employed in construction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now expressed his condolences to the relatives via Twitter.
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.Avatar
In 2010, an Air India aircraft also left the runway
This is the largest plane crash in India since an Air India Express Boeing 737 from Dubai left the runway in 2010. That happened then in the southern Indian city of Mangalore. At the time 158 people were killed. Eight occupants survived the disaster.
The cause of that disaster turned out to be that the pilot was disoriented because he slept for most of the three-hour flight.