An Air India flight skidded off the runway at the Kozhikode (Calicut) International airport in Kerala, also known as the Karipur airport on Friday evening. The plane was an AI Express aircraft part of India’s “Vande Bharat” repatriation initiative to bring back expatriates from foreign countries.
Twenty, including former Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilot Captain DV Sathe and his co-pilot, have died while the injured are being treated at the MIMS hospital and Baby Memorial Hospital in Calicut.
Visuals from Kozhikode airport (Photo Credits: Nabila Jamal/India Today)
At least 170 of those on board the flight, including passengers and cabin crew, have been rescued, DGCA Director-General (DG) Arun Kumar said. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed that the evacuation process is complete.
What happened at the Kozhikode airport?
Preliminary inputs indicate that the fuselage broke into two after the aircraft overshot the runway at Karipur airport. The aircraft has been identified as AXB1344, B737 Dubai (DXB) to Calicut (CCJ), an Air India Express Boeing 737 flying in from Dubai into Calicut.
A missed approach was carried out first followed by a second attempt to land the aircraft when it overshot the runway. The aircraft’s actual speed was higher than the landing speed.
File photo of deceased pilot Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe.
The Air India Express plane overshot the runway at Kozhikode International Airport in Kerala around 7.41 pm on Friday. It has been confirmed that the aircraft did not catch fire. The airport in Kozhikode had been receiving incessant rainfall in the hours leading up to and during the tragic accident.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued a statement soon after the incident saying, “Air India Express IX-1344 Dubai to Calicut, visibility 2000 meter, heavy rain, after landing on Runway 10, continued running to the end of the runway and fell down in the valley and broke down into two pieces.”
Air India Express also issued a statement saying, “We regret that there has been an incident regarding our aircraft VT GHK, operating IX 1344 DXB CCJ. Due to crash landing of the flight, it may affect the network but Vande Bharat Mission continues.”The flight plan along with information about AXB1344, B737 Dubai (DXB) to Calicut (CCJ).
Two teams of the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), one from Malappuram and another from Wayanad were rushed to the Karipur airport. These teams comprised 60 NDRF personnel equipped with first aid and electrical equipment.
Rescue operations at Kozhikode airport (Photo Credits: PTI)
A helpline (0565463903) has been set up by the Kerala government for families of passengers of IX-1344. President of the Indian Association in Sharjah EP Johnson has also launched a similar helpline number. Johnson said, “Those in need can call us on the following numbers: 050-3675770, 050-4828472, and 050-6266546.”
Air India Express has released a statement following the plane crash in Kozhikode in which a toll-free helpline number has been enlisted for the kin of passengers who were on board the flight.
In a statement, the airlines said, “Air India Express Ltd has established a passenger information center and a toll-free number has been made available for family and friends of those who may have been board flight IX-1134. The toll-free number is 1800-2222-71. For those calling from outside, please call international country code.”
Updated information will be posted on the official website of the airlines at https://www.airindiaexpress.in/en