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Air India Express plane skids at Kozhikode airport, breaks into two, at least 14 including pilot dead


In a tragic incident, at least 14 people, including a pilot, were killed and many injured when an Air India Express plane with 190 people on board skid off the runway of the Kozhikode airport in Kerala on Friday evening. The injured have been taken to multiple hospitals and the dead to Kondotti hospital.

A total of 190 people–184 passengers, including ten infants, two pilots, and four cabin crew were onboard the aircraft. The flight, IX-1344, bound for Kozhikode from Dubai skidded during landing at the Karipur Airport at around 7.45 pm, said the Kondotty Police. The authorities have issued helpline numbers-0543090572, 0543090573, 0543090575 and 0565463903.

The Indian embassy in Dubai tweeted, “Air India Express Flight No IX 1344  from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway. We pray for well being of passengers and crew and will keep you updated as and when we receive further updates.Our helplines 056 546 3903, 0543090572, 0543090572, 0543090575.”

“Air India Express has also established helpline number in Sharjah at 00971 6 5970303.  People can call them as well for updates. Full details of injured and casualties are awaited,” it further tweeted.

Karipur Airport control room opens helpline number 04832719493 for more information on Air India Express plane accident. 

“There were total 184 passengers, including 10 infants and six crew members, including two pilots, onboard Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) that skidded during landing at Karipur Airport today,” said the Air India Express. The plane has broken into two parts. 

The plane fell around 35 feet down and apparently the front half took the damage but people in the rear half have survived. The Kozhikode International Airport, also known, as Karipur Airport is a tabletop airport. The flight was flying the Centre’s Vande Bharat Mission. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over Air India Express plane accident and spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on phone about the plane crash. PM Modi took to Twitter saying, “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 Pinarayi Vijayan regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected.”

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said, “Deeply anguished and distressed at the air accident in Kozhikode. The Air India Express flight number AXB-1344 on its way from Dubai to Kozhikode with 191 persons on board, overshot the runway in rainy conditions & went down 35 ft. into a slope before breaking up into two pieces. We are  in touch with local authorities…Relief teams from Air India & AAI are being immediately dispatched from Delhi & Mumbai. All efforts being made to help  passengers. A formal enquiry will be conducted by AAIB.”

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “A Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight fell down into the valley after landing at Runway 10 of Karipur Airport & broke down in two pieces. There were 191 people on board. Visibility was 2000 meter and heavy rain at the time of landing.” The DGCA has ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General SN Pradhan said, “Teams of NDRF are being rushed to Karipur Airport where the Dubai-Kozhikode flight skidded off the runway, for search and rescue.”

Expressing shock over the tragic mishap, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked all government agencies to engage in rescue operations using all government facilities. The Kerala CM has directed immediate rescue measures in the plane crash. The CM has deputed AC Moideen, minister for local bodies, to coordinate the rescue operations. Moideen has already left for Karipur from Thrissur. The CM also has deputed an IG of Police to oversee the rescue operation. Fire and Rescue teams of two districts also have been engaged.

Health authorities have been instructed to provide all possible medical aid to save lives of victims. The Police warm-up led by IG and fire and rescue team from two districts has started rescue operations. It is also proposed to set up the necessary health system and all the mechanisms of the state government should be used for disaster relief.

Vijayan also said, “Have instructed Police and Fire Force to take urgent action in the wake of the plane crash at the Kozhikode International airport (CCJ) in Karipur. Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support.”

PM Narendra Modi spoke to Kerala CM on phone about Karipur plane crash. The CM informed PM Modi that a team of officials including Kozhikode and Malappuram District Collectors and IG Ashok Yadav have arrived at the airport to participate in the rescue operation.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation Additional DG Media Rajeev Jain said, “Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode at 1941 hrs tonight. No fire reported at the time of landing. There are 174 passengers, 10 Infants, 2 Pilots and 5 cabin crew onboard the aircraft. Total 191. As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and  Passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care. We will soon share the update in this regard.”

Union Home Minister Amit Shah expressed shock over the tragic incident and tweeted, “Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations.”

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed his anguish over the loss of lives and tweeted, “Devastating news from Kozhikode, Kerala. I am deeply anguished by the loss of lives due to an accident carrying several passengers on Air India flight.” “In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Rajnath Singh added. 

Former Union minister KJ Alphons, who belongs to Kerala, termed the accident as the second tragedy of the day in Kerala and tweeted, “Second tragedy of the day in Kerala: Air India Express skids off the runway at Kozhikode, front portion splits, the pilot dies and lots of passengers injured. All passengers evacuated. Very lucky the aircraft didn’t catch fire.”

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