Air India plane crashes in Kozhikode after skidding off the runway, killing at least 18 and injuring many.

The death toll in the Kerala plane crash tragedy in Kozhikode air port Kerala  has climbed to 18, including the two pilots. At least 127 people are in hospitals out of which 14 are said to be in a critical state.

The search and rescue operations at the site of the crash have been completed and all the injured passengers of the Air India Express flight have been admitted to different hospitals.

Immediately after the news of the mishap, the Emergency Command Center was activated and the Emergency Response Team members, as well as GO Teams, were sent to the crash site to render necessary assistance the emergency services and local authorities.

In one of the worst air disasters witnessed in Kerala, an Air India Express flight returning from Dubai under the ‘Vande Bharat’ mission skidded off the runway at the ‘table top’ airport in Kozhikode, leaving at least 18 persons dead, including the pilot Captain D.V. Sathe.

The plane skidded off the runway as it landed on its second attempt amid heavy rain, plunged 35 feet into the valley below, and broke into two pieces.

Following the accident, which occurred at 7.41 p.m., the Kozhikode airport has been closed and the flights scheduled to land there have been diverted to Kannur airport, about 80 km away.

Expressing deep anguish over the incident, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said a formal inquiry will be conducted into the incident by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).

Air India Plane crash at Kozhikode airport, Kerala Screen capture from Twitter

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India Express AXB1344, a B737 aircraft, with 190 people on board, landed on Runway 10 amid visibility of 2,000 metres in heavy rain, but overshot and nose-dived into the valley, breaking into two pieces.

Authorities in Kerala, however, said that there were 184 people – 128 men, 46 women and 10 children – on board, as five people who had a ticket did not board the aircraft.

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