Flight crash: 2 investigation teams leave for Kozhikode from Delhi

New Delhi: The Central government has taken a serious view of late Friday evening’s flight crash in Kozhikode in Kerala, which has killed at least 19 and left many injured, and vowed to ensure such mishaps won’t take place in future.

This morning, two investigation teams of professionals from Air India, Airports Authority of India and AAIB left for Kozhikode from Delhi. They will carry out detailed investigation and submit a report to the Civil Aviation Ministry. Besides, local police are also investigating the mishap.

Firefighting personnel and hundreds of rescue workers immediately reached the airport and the injured were taken to government medical colleges in Kozhikode and Malappuram and private hospitals in Kozhikode and Kondotty.

At least 19 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed after a Dubai-Calicut Air India Express aircraft carrying 190 passengers and crew skidded off the runway at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport and fell into a 35-feet valley before splitting into two pieces late Friday evening.

State Health Minister K K Shailaja said many passengers had serious injuries. According to flight tracking sites, the aircraft made two attempts to land in heavy rain before touching down the third time, leading to the accident.

The flight was part of the Vande Bharat repatriation mission and most passengers were stranded non-resident Keralites returning home from the UAE following the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the DGCA said, “Visibility was 2,000 metres and there was heavy rain.” It said the flight, IX-1344, shot runway 10. Rescue operations, which went on till 11 pm, are over.

The pilot-in-command Captain Deepak Sathe, a former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF), and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who died, officials said. “Unfortunately the pilots have passed away and we are in touch with their families in grief,” said an Air India Express statement past midnight.


NT Bureau