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Centre Announces Probe into Kozhikode Plane Crash, Says No Fire Reported during Landing

News18.com

Last Updated: August 07, 2020, 23:59 IST

New Delhi

Rows of ambulances are seen outside the Calicut International Airport where a passenger plane crashed after it overshot the runway in Karipur, Kerala, August 7, 2020. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Rows of ambulances are seen outside the Calicut International Airport where a passenger plane crashed after it overshot the runway in Karipur, Kerala, August 7, 2020. (REUTERS/Stringer)

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said he is deeply "anguished and distressed" at the accident and relief teams from Air India and Airports Authority of India (AAI) are being immediately dispatched from Delhi and Mumbai.

After an Air India Express flight from Dubai carrying 190 people met with an accident at the Kozhikode airport on Friday, the Civil Aviation Ministry said that no fire was reported during its landing. "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," the ministry said in its statement.

Those onboard included 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and four cabin crew, the ministry said. "As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care," the ministry noted.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said he is deeply "anguished and distressed" at the accident and relief teams from Air India and Airports Authority of India (AAI) are being immediately dispatched from Delhi and Mumbai.

"All efforts are being made to help passengers. A formal enquiry will be conducted by AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau)," he said on Twitter.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the flight — IX 1344 — continued running to the end of the runway amid heavy rain and "fell down in the valley and broke down in two pieces".

The Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India and it has only B737 aircraft in its fleet.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23 amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, since May 6, special repatriation flights have been operated by Air India and Air India Express under the Vande Bharat Mission to help stranded people reach their destinations. Private carriers have also operated a certain number of flights under this mission.

A spokesperson for the Air India Express said that help centres are being set up at Sharjah and Dubai for affected people. "We regret that there has been an incident regarding our aircraft VT GHK, operating IX 1344," the spokesperson added.

(With PTI inputs)