Kerala plane crash: PM Modi briefed on rescue operations by Kerala CM, expresses pain

Updated on Aug 07, 2020 10:45 PM IST

The death toll in the accident has risen to 16 according to reports.

Rescue operation underway after an Air India Express flight with passengers on board en route from Dubai skidded off the runway while landing, at Karippur in Kozhikode(PTI)
Rescue operation underway after an Air India Express flight with passengers on board en route from Dubai skidded off the runway while landing, at Karippur in Kozhikode(PTI)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Abhinav Sahay

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take stock of rescue and relief efforts being carried out at the crash site of an Air India Express flight from Dubai carrying 174 passengers, 10 infants, 2 pilots & 4 cabin crew that shot pas the runway in rainy conditions to fall into a valley leading to at least 16 deaths and injuries to 123 people, according to official information.

“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. Spoke to Kerala CM regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected,” the PM tweeted.

Kerala CM’s office had also tweeted to say that Pinarayi Viajayan has informed the Prime Minister that a team of officials including Kozhikode & Malappuram district collectors and IG of Police, Ashok Yadav, have arrived at the airport and are participating in the rescue operations.

The state police and fire department had also been rushed for rescue and relief operations apart from NDRF teams that were pressed into the operation.

Home minister Amit Shah had tweeted that NDRF teams were reaching the site.

“Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. I have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations,”Shah tweeted.

Television pictures showed part of the fuselage of the jet ripped apart in the crash. Both the pilots have died.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, expressed shock at the news

“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,” he said on Twitter.

“My thoughts are with the crew, the passengers and their families and friends at this time,” he said.

Air India Express has set up help centres at Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from where the ill-fated flight to Kozhikode took off on Friday afternoon. The carrier also issued a statement to express regret at the accident that has reportedly led to deaths of at least 11 people including two pilots and injuries to at least 40 passengers, according to preliminary information coming through official channels.

In a separate effort to provide information to kin of passengers-- some of who have been rushed to hospital while rescue and search operations for others continue—Kozhikode collector has set up a helpline number-- 0495 – 2376901—for providing information related to the crash of Air India Express Flight (IX 1344).

The flight was one among the several being operated under the Vande Bharat Mission being run by the Indian government to bring home Indian citizens stuck abroad due to restrictions on international travel due to coronavirus pandemic. After the crash, Air India Express issued a statement of regret and added that the flights under the mission will continue.

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