An Air India Express passenger plane shot through and fell off the runway during the landing in the Indian city of Kozhikode on Friday. The authorities fear that there are at least 17 dead and at least 123 injured.
The Boeing 737 of budget airline Air India Express came from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On board were 174 adult passengers, 10 children, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew.
At around 8:15 p.m. local time, the plane overshot while landing at the international airport in the city in southwestern India.
According to the first images, the plane ended up 10 meters lower in a valley and broke in two. The plane did not catch fire.
The rescue operation has now been completed, the injured have been transferred to hospitals in the area.
‘Pilot could not land in one go’
The weather conditions were bad, it was raining very hard. According to the Indian Minister of Civil Aviation, the pilot’s first landing attempt was unsuccessful, so he turned and tried from another side. The minister adds that only an investigation can reveal the exact cause of the accident.
According to the authorities, it was a flight that repatriated people of Indian nationality from the UAE who could no longer go home because of the coronavirus. In the country millions of Indians are mainly employed in construction.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now expressed his condolences to the relatives via Twitter.
In 2010, an Air India plane also got off the runway
This is the largest plane crash in India since an Air India Express Boeing 737 from Dubai even left the runway in 2010. That happened at the time in the southern Indian city of Mangalore. At the time 158 people were killed. Eight occupants survived the disaster.
The cause of that disaster turned out to be that the pilot was disoriented because he slept for most of the three-hour flight.