Air India Kozhikode Crash : Death Toll Rises To 18, Pilots Aborted Landing Twice, Crew Members Safe

Picture : Twitter / ANI

The death toll in the Air India Express flight crash at the Kozhikode airport, rose to 18 with one more passenger succumbing to injuries.

“18 people, including two pilots, have lost their lives. It is unfortunate. 127 people are at hospitals, others have been released,” civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. He further stated :”Under the Vande Bharat Mission, the flight was coming from Dubai carrying 190 passengers. Pilot must have tried to bring the flight to the end of tabletop airport’s runway where it skidded due to slippery conditions owing to monsoon”.

“Our task would have been much more difficult if the plane had caught fire. I am going to the airport,” Puri said in a report by a news agency.

Air India Express flight from Dubai with over 180 on board overshot the table toprunway while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions. The pilot-in-command Captain Deepak Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who lost their lives.

However, “Four cabin crew members of the flight are confirmed safe,” Air India Express said in a bulletin.

It is also reported that the Air India Express pilots, who have died in Kerala plane crash tragedy, attempted two landings before the final landing at the tabletop runway at Kozhikode. Two landings were aborted by pilots due to tailwind.

“According to weather radar, approach was for Runway 28 but as pilots found difficulties they went around twice and came from the opposite side on Runway 10 and the plane crash-landed at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport,” a senior investigator from DGCA told ANI.

“Visibility was 2,000 metre and rains were reported. Aircraft was at full speed while landing and overshot the Runway 10. It continued running to the end of runway and fell down in the valley and broke down into two pieces,” the DGCA said.

The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) has been recovered from the aircraft and floorboard is being cut to retrieve Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), a Directorate General of Civil Aviation official was quoted as saying by ANI.

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