(NEW DELHI) — A particular flight carrying evacuees to India who had been stranded overseas due to the coronavirus skidded off a runway and break up in two whereas touchdown Friday in heavy rain within the southern state of Kerala, killing at the least 16 passengers and injuring 123 extra, police stated.
Abdul Karim, a senior Kerala state police officer, stated the useless included one of many pilots of the Air India Specific flight. He stated at the least 15 of the injured had been in vital situation, and that rescue operations had been over.
The 2-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode, additionally referred to as Calicut, in Kerala, India’s southernmost state, the airline stated.
An identical tragedy to Friday’s was narrowly averted on the similar airport a yr in the past, when an Air India Specific flight suffered a tail strike upon touchdown. Not one of the 180 passengers of that flight had been injured.
Kozhikode’s 2,850-meter (9,350-foot) runway is on a flat hilltop with deep gorges on both facet ending in a 34-meter (112-foot) drop.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri stated in a press release that the flight “overshot the runway in wet circumstances and went down” the slope, breaking into two items upon affect.
An inquiry shall be carried out by the ministry’s Plane Accident Investigation Bureau, he stated.
The airport’s runway finish security space was expanded in 2018 to accommodate wide-body plane.
The runway finish security space meets United Nations worldwide civil aviation necessities, however the U.N. company recommends a buffer that’s 150 meters (492 toes) longer than what exists at Kozhikode airport, in line with Harro Ranter, chief government of the Aviation Security Community on-line database.
Dubai-based aviation advisor Mark Martin stated that whereas it was too early to find out the reason for the crash, annual monsoon circumstances seemed to be an element.
“Low visibility, moist runway, low cloud base, all resulting in very poor braking motion is what seems to be like led to the place we’re in the meanwhile with this crash,” Martin stated, calling for the European Aviation Security Company and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to help with the Indian authorities’s investigation.
The Air India Specific flight was a part of the Indian authorities’s particular repatriation mission to deliver Indian residents again to the nation, officers stated. The entire passengers had been coming back from the Gulf area, authorities stated. Common business flights have been halted in India due to the coronavirus outbreak.
There have been 174 grownup passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and 4 cabin crew on board the plane, Jain stated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “pained by the aircraft accident in Kozhikode,” and that he had spoken to Kerala’s high elected official.
Air India Specific is a subsidiary of Air India.
The worst air catastrophe in India was on Nov. 12, 1996, when a Saudi Arabian Airways flight collided midair with a Kazakhastan Airways Flight close to Charki Dadri in Haryana state, killing all 349 on board the 2 planes.
Related Press writers Sheikh Saaliq in New Delhi and Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar, India, contributed to this report