On Friday night an Air India flight arriving from Dubai overshot the runway at the Kozhikode airport, leading to a rather horrific crash. Amid heavy rains the flight skidded off the tabletop runway, falling some 35 feet and breaking into two pieces.
Here are the latest developments in the incident:
1. Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed on Saturday afternoon that out of the 190 people on board, 18 had lost their lives. "149 people were also admitted to hospitals, out of which 23 have been discharged," he added.
2. However not all patients are out of the woods yet. Puri said that some of the passengers were in a critical condition, with three people on ventilators.
3. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for families of the deceased.
4. Earlier, Puri had also mentioned the same, announcing Rs 10 lakh interim relief for each of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.
5. The state government would also bear the treatment expenses of all individuals injured in the crash. This is irrespective of the hospitals they are in.
6. "All the accident victims will be tested for COVID-19 including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for coronavirus," the Kerala Chief Minister's Office added.
7. "We visited the site of crash and two black boxes have been recovered.The precise cause of the mishap will be determined when we analyse data in those black boxes," Puri said. Investigations were underway, he added in a tweet.
8. The tabletop runway - one of only five in the country - poses a challenge to pilots and does not leave much room for error. According to reports, the pilot had had aborted two landings due to tailwind and had circled the airport several times before the final ill-fated landing.
9. "The aircraft could not land at the runway where it had to, then landing was tried on another runway where the mishap happened. We are monitoring situation and airport will become operational soon," the Chairman of the Airport Authority of India, Arvind Singh was quoted by news agency ANI as saying. He added that while the DGCA had had some issues with the runway in 2015, but after resolving those issues, clearance was given to it in 2019.
10. Airports Authority of India Chairman Arvind Singh on Saturday said that 'corrective action' will be taken after receiving probe report on the Air India Express plane crash.
(with inputs from agencies)