Air India Plane Crashes, Rips Into Two on Calicut Runway
An Air India Express plane crashed at an airport in Kerala — a southern state of Kerala, India — with 191 people aboard, according to local officials, reports BBC.
Air India plane goes down with 191 passengers
The aircraft was en route from Dubai when it skidded off the runway and snapped into two when it crashed at the Calicut airport while attempting to land, according to India's aviation authority.
As of writing, rescue operations are active, with emergency services responding. According to the pilot, at least two people have died — one of whom was the pilot — reports BBC.
UPDATE August 7, 12:55 PM EDT: Casualties, crash conditions
Several passengers were also injured, an airline spokesperson said. The airline's flight IX-1344 carried 184 passengers — including 10 infants, two pilots, and six crew members — when it crashed.
Rahul Ghandi — a member of the Indian National Congress — tweeted about the incident.
Shocked at the devastating news of the plane mishap in Kozhikode. Deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who died in this accident. Prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 7, 2020
"Shocked at the devastating news of the plane mishap in Kozhikode. Deepest condolences to the friends and family of those who died in this accident. Prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured."
The plane fell into a valley and snapped into two after skidding off the end of the local runway, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Indian media documents the carnage of an airplane ripped into two on impact.
The crash happened at roughly 7:00 PM local time (9:30 AM EDT) during heavy rainfall in the area. The region has seen landslides and flooding amid the peak of India's monsoon season.
UPDATE August 7, 1:05 PM EDT: Passengers evacuated, statements from officials
The DGCA Arun Kumar told India today: "Air India Flight No IX 1344 from Dubai to Calicut skidded off the runway," reports the Express. "We pray for well being of passengers and crew and will keep you updated as and when we receive further updates."
@airindia accident. Pilot dead, co-pilot is in critical pic.twitter.com/pODuzqxkRs— santhosh (@santhusarling) August 7, 2020
The Director of Police (DGP) in the Indian state of Kerala Loknath Behra said, regarding the incident: "All hands on deck. We are trying to get more information," according to Express. "Priority is evacuation, safety and treatment of passengers on board."
The Calicut runway rests on the top of a plateau or hill, with one or both ends juxtaposed to a steep precipice that drops deep into a gorge.
We can only hope no more casualties are added to the tally from Air India's latest plane crash while we wait for officials to determine the official cause of the incident in the coming days and weeks.