The Kerala government on Saturday announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to the families of those who died when an ill-fated Air India Express flight veered off the runway while attempting to land at the Karipur international airport.
At least 18 people have lost their lives and 149 are under treatment at various hospitals of Malappuram and Kozhikode districts, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the media after a high-level meeting held at the district in which state Governor Arif Mohammed Khan also participated.
"The state government has decided to provide a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the families of those who have lost their lives. The medical expenses of those under treatment will be taken over by the state government," Mr Vijayan told the reporters.
The Chief Minister also said out of the 18 who died, 14 are adults and four are children.
"Out of the 14 adults, seven are male and others female. Currently, 149 people are in various hospitals of Malappuram and Kozhikode, out of which 23 are in critical condition. Earlier, 23 were discharged after being provided initial medical assistance," Mr Vijayan said.
Mr Vijayan also said that if any further assistance is required, the state government will take an appropriate decision to support them to get back to normal life.
There are a few passengers from Tamil Nadu and Telangana also. "The post mortem process has been expedited despite the COVID-19 threat and is expected to finish before evening. All the accident victims will be tested for COVID-19 including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for Coronavirus," Mr Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister also appreciated the instant response of the locals living in the vicinity of the airport and also the local authorities to the tragedy, which ensured minimum loss of lives in a disaster of such large magnitude.
The rescue operations were finished in the shortest possible time yesterday.
"Even though 18 precious lives have been lost due to the impact of the crash, the rescue operations were a miraculous work. The general public and the officials played a big role in spearheading the rescue operations," he said.
Mr Vijayan along with Governor, Arif Mohammad Khan reached Kozhikode on Saturday morning. They were accompanied by ministers, the Chief Secretary and the state police chief.
Mr Khan expressed his condolences and sympathies to the families of the accident victims and his best wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.