- Airline spokesperson said the plane overshot the runway due to heavy rain
- The Boeing 737 flight was a part of the Vande Bharat Mission
- The flight was carrying 191 people including crew members
Over 100 passengers of an Air India Express plane were rushed to a hospital after the aircraft broke into two while landing amid heavy rainfall in Kerala's Kozhikode today. Seventeen people were killed as the Boeing 737 flight crash-landed at the airport at 7.41 pm. All on board have been evacuated from the site of the accident.
Wing Commander Deepak Vasant Sathe and Captain Akhilesh Kumar - the two pilots of the plane are among the 17 who died.
The airline spokesperson said the aircraft overshot the runway as heavy rain battered the grounds. Kerala has been hit by heavy rain through the day triggering flooding and landslides.
Flight IX 1344 was coming from Dubai and carrying 190 people, including crew members. There were 10 infants, two pilots and four cabin crew among those on board the aircraft.
The Boeing 737 flight was a part of the Vande Bharat Mission under which Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic were being brought back home.
Initial photos showed the plane broken into two with debris all around.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he has instructed the police and fire department to take urgent action in the matter.
"Have also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support," Mr Vijayan added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was pained by the plane accident in Kerala.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Twitter that he has asked the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to assist with the rescue operations.
Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) August 7, 2020
Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations.
More details are awaited.
Helplines: Airport Control Room - 0483 2719493, Malappuram Collectorate - 0483 2736320, Kozhikode Collectorate - 0495 2376901.