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Air India Express Plane Crash Updates: B-737 not a wide-body aircraft, probe findings will be made public, Puri tells critics

Air India Express Plane Crash Updates:The Union minister's remarks came after some aviation experts pointed out that his ministry had cleared wide-bodied planes to land in tabletop airports like Kozhikode

FP Staff August 09, 2020 00:18:59 IST
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Air India Express Plane Crash Updates: B-737 not a wide-body aircraft, probe findings will be made public, Puri tells critics

Highlights

13:56 (ist)

 Air India Plane Crash LATEST Updates

People line up outside hospitals to donate blood for injured passengers

Beginning with the news of landslide in Idukki district that killed 18 people, Kerala met with the second adversity on Friday when an Air India Express flight from Dubai crashed on landing at the Kozhikode International Airport, killing 18 people and injuring over 125. 

Visuals of people queuing up outside blood banks in various hospitals in Kozhikode, to ensure that the injured passengers receive best treatment, have surfaced. Despite heavy rains, people volunteering to prepare food packages for distressed passengers show that humanity persists even in the face of a pandemic.

People, wearing masks and disposable gloves, lining up outside blood banks have evoked praises on social media. 

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Aug 08, 2020 - 23:03 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Bodies of deceased pilots handed over to their families

The bodies of pilot Deepak Sathe and First Officer Akilesh Kumar were handed over to their families on Saturday, reports PTI. The relatives came with the AIE officials and the remains were taken to Ernakulam to be taken to their respective native places,Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan told the news agency.  Kozhikode district collector S Sambasiva Rao told PTI that the bodies were embalmed after conducting post-mortem at the Medical College hospital in Kozhikode and were handed over to the families by evening.

Aug 08, 2020 - 22:25 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Issues raised by DCGA were addressed: Aviation minister

Aug 08, 2020 - 21:49 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Findings of probe will be made public, says Hardeep Singh Puri

Responding to criticism that the Kozhikode air crash occurred as landings were allowed despite several warnings, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri urged his fellow politicians and media to exercise patience, saying that the accident was being probed and the findings will be made public. In a series of tweets, Puri said that the aircraft involved in the incident at Kozhikode, a B-737-800, was not a wide body aircraft. "As far as wide body aircraft are concerned, DGCA had carried out a thorough assessment and prescribed comprehensive mitigation measures," he said. 

He said that the runway had been strengthened and flights were being operated after due permissions were obtained for wide body aircrafts. "Kozikhode Airport has a total footfall of 3.2 million passengers per annum with 70-80 aircraft movement per day.  The total wide body operations are only 4 percent of the total," he said.

Aug 08, 2020 - 21:39 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Mizoram's Lengpui airport safe for landing passenger flights, claims official

 

A day after the Kozhikode plane crash, an official asserted that Mizoram's Lengpui airport is safe for landing of passengers flights upto Airbus 320 and cargo flights. J Lalhmingliana, Principal Consultant in the Civil Aviation wing of the General Administration department, told news agency PTI that the runway having 2,500 metres length and whose breadth is 45 metre wide, has enough space and is strong enough for safe landing. Lengpui airport, the lone one in Mizoram, is located about 32 km northwest of capital Aizawl.

It is among the five table-top airports in the country along with Kozhikode, Mangalore (Karnakata), Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) and Pakyong (Sikkim).

Aug 08, 2020 - 21:13 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

DGCA should not allow landings at Kozhikode airport during monsoons: Aviation safety expert

 
Aviation safety expert Captain Ranganathan, who had earlier flagged concerns about Kozhikode airport runway, on Saturday said regulator DGCA should not allow landing of flights during monsoons on runway 10 at the aerodrome.  "Death due to an accident is something which happens when you don't know but when you knew the danger existed and you were warned about it and you took no action and an accident takes place, then it is definitely murder," Ranganathan told PTI.
 
 On Saturday, he said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should enforce the correct runway code for Kozhikode airport. "No aircraft larger than a 737 or a 320 should be permitted to land there. They should not permit any landing during monsoons on runway 10. The DGCA should enforce that all airlines should comply and do their monsoon training before the monsoons what is called ALAR training they have to do it without failure," he said.  ALAR is Approach and Landing Accident Reduction.

Aug 08, 2020 - 21:10 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Air India mourns accident with black logo

 
Both Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express have put up black logos  on social media to offer condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the Kozhikode plane crash. Eighteen persons lost their lives while many were injured.
 

Aug 08, 2020 - 21:02 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Village in mourning as prospective bridegroom dies in crash

 
It is a wedding that will never happen as the Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode snuffed out the life of the prospective young bridegroom. Muhammed Riyas, 24, had taken the flight on Friday evening along with his brother after his parents fixed the marriage. His friends and local people at his native Mollur
village are in a state of shock afer news emerged that Riyas, who was working with his brother Nizamuddin in Dubai, had died in the accident.
 
A villager said Riyas' family had fixed his engagement later this month after he completed the mandatory COVID-19 quarantine period.  "Unfortunately, we lost him in the tragedy.We are in a state of shock," one of his friends told reporters.
 
Riyas' body was buried this afternoon at the Mollur Juma Masjid Khabarstan adhering to COVID-19 protocol, police said. Nizamuddin has been admitted to a hospital in Kozhikode with serious injuries.
 
PTI

Aug 08, 2020 - 20:45 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

Survivors recount ordeal

Vijaymohan, who escaped with minor injuries and is recovering in a private hospital, said he thought it was a nightmare, unsure whether he was dreaming it all or living through it.are." I could see heaps of twisted metal spread around when I opened my eyes after the initial shock of the impact," said Vijayamohan, a resident of Malaparamba.His wife Jameema is admitted in the ICU. The couple had gone to Dubai in December to join their son but got held up due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.

Fathima, another passenger, said the flight landed with heavy force and moved forward. Ashik, undergoing treatment at a hospital here, was thankful to the fire  personnel who reached immediately and moved the injured to safety.

PTI

Aug 08, 2020 - 19:50 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

CISF asks its personnel to go into quarantine

 
The CISF has directed its personnel to go into preventive quarantine after at least two passengers of the Air India Express flight that crashed in Kozhikode tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Saturday. The Central Industrial Security Force said it was the "first responder" to rescue passengers as its Assistant Sub-Inspector Ajit Singh was on runway patrol when the flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot the table-top runway, fell into a 35-foot valley and broke into two on Friday.
 
"We are identifying our personnel, who rescued the passengers who have tested positive for the coronavirus," CISF Special Director General (Airports) M A Ganapathy told PTI. Another senior officer said the force has information that two passengers have tested positive for COVID-19. Around 50 CISF personnel and their family members were involved in the rescue operation and they have been asked to self-quarantine, he said. The force will also conduct COVID-19 tests of those who were exposed, the officer said.

Aug 08, 2020 - 19:18 (IST)

Air India Plane Crash LATEST Update

DGCA had issued notice to Kozhikode airport in July 2019 over critical safety lapses

Aviation regulator DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to the director of the Kozhikode airport on July 11 last year after it found "various critical safety lapses" in different places, including the runway and the apron, officials said on Saturday. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation pointed to cracks on the runway, water stagnation and excessive rubber deposits among other lapses in its show-cause notice. The DGCA conducted the inspection after an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam in Saudi Arabia had a "tail strike" while landing at the Calicut (Kozhikode) airport on 2 July last year, an official told news agency PTI.. 

Air India Express Plane Crash Updates: Responding to criticism that the Kozhikode air crash occurred as landings were allowed despite several warnings, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri urged his fellow politicians and media to exercise patience, saying that the accident was being probed and the findings will be made public.

At least 149 people are in various hospitals of Malappuram and Kozhikode, out of which 23 are in critical condition, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan during the press meet at Kozhikode Medical College.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri announced Rs 10 lakh interim relief for the kin of each of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.

After the Digital Field Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder were retrieved on Saturday, DGCA chief Arun Kumar said that it was too early to comment whether the plane crash at Kozhikode International Airport happened due to a technical glitch or a human error.

An Air India special assistance team has reached Kerala to meet the families of the 190 people on board the Air India Express flight.

Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has recovered Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder from the aircraft. These will be sent to Delhi for further investigation.

Two passengers who were on board the Air India Express flight that crashed at Kozhikode International Airport on Friday have tested positive for COVID-19, according to News18.

At least 18 were killed after a Dubai-Calicut Air India Express flight carrying over 190 passengers, including infants and crew members skidded off the tabletop runway at Kerala's Kozhikode International airport on Friday evening.

Both the pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the crash when the aircraft fell into a 35-feet-deep valley before splitting into two parts. Four crew members are  safe, Air India Express said in a statement.

According to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, at 127 were admitted to hospitals and others have been released.

The aviation minister said a formal inquiry will be conducted by Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB).

"Our task would have been much more difficult had the plane caught fire," Puri told ANI.

Of the injured, at least 20 are in a critical condition, with some receiving spinal cord injuries due to the impact, Hindustan Times quoted hospital sources as saying.

A DGCA probe team arrived in Kozhikode along with junior minister of external affairs V Muraleedhran early on Saturday.

The Boeing 737 aircraft was coming from Dubai and was operating under India's Vande Bharat mission, an initiative to bring back stranded Indians from foreign countries.

The flight was attempting to land in a bad weather when it overshot the runway around 7.40 pm on Friday and fell off the embankment.

Speaking to India Today, Puri said, "Weather conditions being what they are, I'm told the aircraft couldn't be brought to a halt. As a tabletop airport, it imposes a challenge. There was a 30-foot drop to the ground below. Fortunately, the plane that broke into two didn't catch fire."

Craft was at 'full speed'

Puri will arrive at Kozhikode on Saturday afternoon.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told news agency ANI that the Dubai-Kozhikode aircraft was at "full speed".

In a statement, the DGCA said, "Visibility was 2,000 metres and there was heavy rain." It said the flight, IX-1344, shot runway 10.

The Kozhikode International airport, is known for its 'tabletop' runway - a runway located on the top of hills/terrain. Called as of the riskiest landings, the runway is raised up quite a bit over its surroundings with deep gorges at both ends.

The pilot of the flight was a former Air Force pilot who also flew Airbus 310 for Air India before moving to Air India Express flying the Boeing 737. Wing Commander Deepak Sathe has won 'Sword of Honour' at AFA, was accomplished fighter pilot, and was HAL test pilot too, according to CNN-News18.

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and governor Arif Mohammad Khan will visit Kozhikode on Saturday to meet those injured in the flight crash, ANI reported.

"Two special relief flights have been arranged from Delhi and Mumbai, respectively, for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and the family members. AAIB, DGCA and Flight Safety Departments have reached to investigate the incident," Air India Express was quoted as saying by ANI.

 

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