A popular global flight tracker website indicates that the Air India Express plane that skidded on the runway at Kerala's Kozhikode tried to land at least twice at the tabletop airport.
Flightradar24, a Swedish firm that shows real-time commercial flight tracking information on a map, indicated that the Boeing 737 NG that came from Dubai with 190 people on board tried to land twice.
Kozhikode airport is a "tabletop" airport, junior External Affairs Minister V Muraleedharan tweeted. A tabletop runway is a runway on the top of a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep elevation, which drops into a gorge. Such an airport presents a challenging condition for landing.
Eighteen people including both the pilots died in the crash. All on board have been evacuated and at least 92 injured, including 15 in serious condition, have been taken to hospital, authorities said.
There were 174 passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and four cabin crew members on board the aircraft.
The last major plane crash in India was in 2010 when an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway and burst into flames. The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors.
Kerala has been battered by heavy rains in recent days.
Helplines: Air India Express - 1800 2222 71, Airport Control Room - 0483 2719493, Malappuram Collectorate - 0483 2736320, Kozhikode Collectorate - 0495 2376901