Both Air India Express pilots killed as plane with 191 on board skids off runway in Kozhikode

Updated on Aug 07, 2020 11:09 PM IST

The Air India Express flight AXB1344, B737 from Dubai to Calicut was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, meant to bring home stranded people from other countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Sohini Sarkar

Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe and Captain Akhilesh Kumar, the two pilots of the Air India Express flight with 191 on board which skidded off the runway while landing at Kerala’s Kozhikode on Friday evening, have been killed in the accident.

Air India’s Capt Deepak Sathe who died in the crash was an ace fighter pilot and an alumni of the National Defence Academy (NDA). He clocked most of his flying hours on MiGs and was a Sword of Honour from the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.

Preliminary images from the accident site showed the aircraft split into two pieces with debris all over the runway and beyond. At least, 16 people have died, according to initial reports.

ALSO READ | Air India plane overshoots Karipur’s table top runway, drops into valley; 16 dead

After landing at Runway 10, the plane continued running to the end of the runway and fell down the valley and broke into two portions, a statement from aviation regulator DGCA said.

The Air India Express flight AXB1344, B737 from Dubai to Calicut was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, meant to bring home stranded people from other countries amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aircraft was about to land at the Karipur Airport in Kozhikode.when it overshot the runway, and broke into pieces. The incident took place amid very heavy rainfall and bad weather in the area. There were 191 people, including crew members on board the flight.The passengers included 10 infants, two pilots, and four cabin crew members.

The flight landed at the airport at around 7.40 pm.

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