‘Our thoughts are with everyone’: UN aviation body ‘saddened’ by Kerala plane crash
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ specialised agency for aviation, expressed grief over the tragic plane crash that occurred in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Friday.
“ICAO is saddened by reports of the tragic loss of life on Air India’s Express flight IX 1344. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this terrible tragedy,” the agency tweeted.
At least 19 people have been reported dead, including the pilot and the co-pilot of the plane - as Air India Express flight IX 1344, with 190 people on board, overshot the runway at the Kozhikode airport and fell 50 metres off the end, breaking into two.
The accident happened around at around 7:41 pm on Friday when the Air India flight from Dubai was making a descent and preparing for landing.
The Boeing 737 jet, on a Vande Bharat mission as flight AIX 1344 from Dubai, was bringing in Indians who were stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was a Dubai to Kozhikode Air India Express flight. It made an over-speeding landing, overshot the runway, and fell into a valley. The aircraft has broken into two parts but it is being reported that it has not caught fire, which increases chances of rescue. Rescue teams are on spot and we are yet to get final figures on casualties,” said Arun Kumar, chief of directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and several other leaders, politicians and eminent personalities offered their condolences over the accident.
The Union civil aviation ministry and the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will hold an urgent meeting Air India officials over the incident.