A Dubai-India-bound Air India Express plane skidded while landing on a Kerela airport, broke into two halves, Indian media reported.
The Air India aeroplane (IX 1344) returning from Dubai with 191 people on-board overshot from the runway after it attempted to land on Kozhikode airport in Kerala on Friday evening, the airport authority said.
As per latest reports, 17 people died, 15 severely injured and 123 injured, ANI reports. The airplane was repatriating passengers back to India from Dubai where is crashed in what is being seen as India’s worst airline accident in a decade.
According to initial media reports, the pilot and co-pilot died while many passengers were injured. There were 5-6 crew members and 10 infants on-board.
Two pilots were at the helm, one of them died, former Minister of State Tourism said adding that they were lucky the plane did not catch fire. All the passengers have been evacuated.
The plane landed on a table-top runway in Calicut international airport and reportedly crashed nose-first into the ground.
Civil Aviation Director General ordered a detailed investigation on the incident, ANI reports. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been rushed into the Karipur airport where the Air India plane crashed.
“Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations,” Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
In 2010, a similar incident killed more than 150 passengers where a Dubai-India bound flight crashed while landing on a table-top runway in Mangalore in South India.
(The first part of the story has been updated with correct information which wrongly stated the plane crashed while ‘taking-off’)