Friday, 7 August 2020

Air India Express aircraft crashes at Calicut Airport with 16 fatalities

A repatriation flight operated by Air India Express with 190 people onboard has overshot the runway at Calicut Airport, in the southern state of Kerala today.

Flight IX-1344 had originated in Dubai and had 174 passengers including 10 infants, 4 cabin crew members and the two pilots on board at the time of the incident when it crashed upon landing.

The Boeing 737-800,  registration VT-AXH was landing at around 1940 local time during bad weather according to local reports and skidded off the runway upon landing and then skidded down a slope before breaking apart. The area has been affected by flooding and landslides in recent days as the monsoon season continues.  

Local reports indicate that at least sixteen people have died in the crash including one of the flight deck crew.  Several other passengers have been injured according to the airline Air India, possibly numbering 40 according to local media. Many of those on board the aircraft had either been working or studying in Dubai and were returning home on a special repatriation flight.

The command of the aircraft has been named locally as Captain Deepak Sathe, whin was a former pilot with the Indian Air Force and had previously worked for Air Inda as an A310 pilot before moving over to Air Inda Express and the Boeing 737 aircraft.   

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) confirmed the aircraft fell into a valley and then broke in two after skidding off the end of the runway.  Images on social media show the aircraft in two with the front part of the aircraft some way down the slope away from the bulk of the 737 jet.

Local authorities have issued the following helpline numbers for relatives
056 546 3903, 0543090572, 0543090572, 0543090575

Air India Express issued the following statement :

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