The Air India Express AXB1344, a Boeing 737, from Dubai has reportedly crashed in Kerala. The flight, after landing on Runway 10 continued hastening towards the end of the runway and then fell down in a valley and broke in two pieces. A total of 191 people were onboard, with 184 passengers, 2 pilots and 5 cabin crew members. The pilot of the aircraft- Deepak Vasant Sathe- succumbed to his injuries and the condition of the co-pilot is believed to be immensely critical. The Cockpit and the front door of the flight were completely destroyed.
The mischance took place at 7:40 pm while the aircraft was landing at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport. “All onboard have been evacuated, rescue operations are on and being monitored, of those the injured are being taken to the hospital for medical care”, read the statement from the Aviation Ministry. So far, a total of 14 people including a pilot have been reported dead after the plane skidded off the runway. The Air India Express AXB1344 was flying as a part of the Vande Bharat Mission which is an evacuation mission under the Government of India, that was started to help Indians return from abroad in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The weather operations and reports from the ground show rain at the time the Air India Express plane skidded off the runway at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport also known as Karipur Airport. Hence, the heavy rains in Kerala are being believed to be the reason for this mishap. It has also been learnt that the A737 Boeing aircraft has not caught fire and the mishap entirely occurred due to the tremendously tough landing on the runway at the airport.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Airport in Kozhikode. “Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support,” he said.
The aircraft’s attempt to land amid heavy rainfall turned into a tragedy as it overshot the tabletop runway and plummeted into a valley, around 30 feet down. “Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. Spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Ji regarding the situation”, remarked PM Narendra Modi. It has also been reported that the Air India Express is setting up help centres in Dubai and Sharjah for families of those affected in the Kozhikode plane crash.
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, among other leading figures, has also expressed his despair after the news of the mischance reached media-platforms, “Deeply distressed to hear about the Air India Express tragedy at Kozhikode. Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details”, he commented.
A few months back, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK 303 (Airbus A320) tragically crashed near the Jinnah International Airport, in a residential colony.
With the Flight PK-303 and today’s crash of Boeing 737, aircraft tragedies continue to plague this side of the subcontinent. The day only gets more harrowing by the second, with the continuously rising death toll.