At least 14 people are dead – including both pilots – after an Air India Express plane flying from Dubai to Calicut with 191 passengers onboard skidded on runway and crashed into a valley.
The two pilots tried to land in heavy rain after already aborting their first attempt and circling over the airport at its destination for 20 minutes.
The plane overshot the runway and skidded into a 30ft-deep valley at Calicut airport, in the Indian State of Kerala, at around 7.45pm (2.45pm GMT) today.
Images circulating on social media show an aircraft ruptured into two parts laying in a valley. Four passengers are thought to be trapped in the wreckage.
According to police reports, both pilots and 12 other individuals were killed in the disaster. Another 123 people were injured in the crash.
Crowds gathered at the site of the crash in Kerala as 15 ambulances sped towards the scene. Injured passengers have been rushed to a nearby hospital
An Air India Express plane flying from Dubai to Calicut, also known as Kozhikode, with 191 passengers onboard has crashed into a valley after overshooting the runway at its destination
According to police reports, the pilot Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe (pictured), and 13 others were killed by the impact of the crash
‘I can confirm at least 14 deaths overall. Another 15 passengers have critical injuries. It is still a developing situation,’ senior local policeman Abdul Karim told AFP.
‘We have at least 89 people, many of them with serious injuries, admitted at different Kozhikode hospitals. The ambulances are still coming in,’ said Sujith Das, another senior police official.
‘We have been told that all those who have survived the crash also have some form of injuries.’
Shashi Tharoor, a Congress party lawmaker from the state, said the two pilots were killed.
The NDTV news channel said 30-40 people were hospitalized and that other passengers had been evacuated from the aircraft.
Amitabh Kant, who heads the government’s planning commission, said the runway is on a hilltop with deep gorges on either side, making it difficult to land.
‘The incident happened because of heavy rains and poor visibility. This is truly devastating,’ he told NDTV.
Injured passengers have been rushed to the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode, Kerala
Images circulating on social media show an aircraft ruptured into two parts laying in a valley near Calicut airport, in the Indian state of Kerala
Pictured: An aerial view shows fire engines racing to the scene of the crash today near to Calicut airport in India’s Kerala
A part of the Air India Express flight is seen through a broken wall after it skidded off a runway
Teams conduct search and rescue operation at the site after the Air India Express plane crash
Luggage was seen discarded by the crash site as injured passengers were pulled out of the wreckage and sent to hospitals
Rescue workers look for survivors after a passenger plane crashed when it overshot the runway at the Calicut International Airport
The plane was split in half by the impact of the 30ft fall into a valley after landing in heavy rain
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that he was ‘distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft at Kozhikode.’
It was a repatriation flight carrying Indian citizens back to the country, officials said.
Regular commercial flights have been halted in India because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Air India Express said in a statement that there was ‘no fire reported at the time of landing.’
It said there were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft.
One post claimed the plane was circling over the runway for 20 minutes before it made to land
Rows of ambulances are seen outside the Calicut International Airport where a passenger plane crashed after it overshot the runway in Karipur
One of the persons injured after an Air India Express flight skidded off a runway while landing at the Kozhikode airport is brought for treatment to the Medical College Hospital in Kozhikode
Reports suggested the plane ‘skidded’ off the runway after trying to land in heavy rain
Television pictures showed part of the fuselage of the Air India Express jet ripped apart, although there was no sign of any fire, at Kozhikode airport in the southern state of Kerala.
One television channel reported there had been a problem with the jet’s landing gear.
‘I am arranging hospitals for the injured passengers in the city and can confirm two deaths,’ local police official Sujith Das told AFP.
‘There are injuries too but we don’t yet have a number.’
There were ten infants onboard, according to reports. A photograph of a young girl who was allegedly on the plane and was found without a guardian has been circulating on social media.
An aerial shot of the airport shows the runway. Amitabh Kant, who heads the government’s planning commission, said the runway is on a hilltop with deep gorges on either side, making it difficult to land
A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) statement confirmed the plane had landed in heavy rain before skidding into the valley
A post reads: ‘This kid is found from spot where plane accident occurred. Nobody is with her and she is taken to Kondotty Hospital. Please share this.’
It is not known if the tweet is genuine but a second post claims the child has since been reunited with her parents.
‘Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) skidded during landing at Karipur Airport at around 7.45 pm (2.45pm GMT) today,’ Kondotty Police told news agency ANI.
According to local media, 15 ambulances attended the crash and have rushed the injured passengers and crew to nearby hospitals.
‘Second tragedy of the day in Kerala: Air India Express skids off the runway at Kozhikode, front portion splits, the pilot dies and lots of passengers injured,’ wrote former Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons.
‘All passengers evacuated. Very lucky the aircraft didn’t catch fire.’
Reports said dozens of passengers were taken to hospital and that there were at least 20 critically injured.
Data suggested the plane had already aborted its first attempt at landing. A figure showing the plane’s flight path shows it was forced to turn around and try again
There were ten infants onboard, according to reports. A photograph of a young girl who was allegedly on the plane and was found without a guardian has been circulating on social media
‘As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care,’ it said.
An emergency services official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP: ‘Rescue operations are on but the rains are making it difficult.’
Television pictures showed emergency services personnel working in the dark and spraying the wreckage with water.
Kerala has been battered by heavy rains in recent days. Monsoon season, which lasts from June to September, wreaks havoc across South Asia every year.
News18 reported that there was a problem with the aircraft’s landing gear, citing unnamed sources.
The last fatal plane crash in India was in 2010, when an Air India Express Boeing Co. plane overshot the runway and burst into flames, killing 158 people.
That was the first fatal crash of a passenger aircraft in India in a decade.