At least 17 people, including the pilots, lost their lives when an Air India Express Dubai-Calicut (Kozhikode) flight crashed at the Calicut International Airport in Kerala (India) this evening.
The flight, as part of the Vande Bharat repatriation operations, skidded off the tabletop runway and fell into a 30-feet valley, breaking into two pieces while landing at the airport.
There were 191 people on flight AXB-1344 flight, including 184 passengers, 5 cabin crew and 2 pilots.
About 120 passengers have been injured and rushed to a medical facility nearby. All passengers have been accounted for, officials said.
Both the pilots — Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe and Captain Akhilesh Kumar — perished in the crash, Air India Express has confirmed.
Top officials of various aviation authorities in India left Delhi by a special flight to Calicut where they are expected to reach after 3am on Saturday.
Kerala State Health Minister K K Shailaja said those injured have been rushed to Kozhikode Medical College and other nearby hospitals. Many of those admitted are having serious injuries.
All flights to Kozhikode have been diverted to Kannur airport.
In a statement issued, India's Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the “aircraft skidded off the runway, crashed into a wall and then fell into a valley, splitting into two.”
The airline said the “Air India Express flight IX 1344 was a B-737 aircraft. There were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots, and five cabin crew on board. There was no fire reported at the time of landing.”