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Kozhikode Crash: Plane splits into two after skidding off runway, pilot dead

A pilot of the flight is said to have succumbed in the incident. There were 174 passengers, 10 Infants, 2 Pilots and 5 cabin crew on board the flight. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed to take immediate rescue measures in the crash.

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Kozhikode Crash: Plane splits into two after skidding off runway, pilot dead
The plane skidded off the runway at Kozhikode airport, fell into a valley and split into two parts
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An Air India Express plane that skidded off the runway at Kozhikode airport in Kerala on Friday evening fell into a valley and split into two parts, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said. 

The flight coming from Dubai and landed at Calicut International Airport, also known as Karipur Airport, in Kozhikode at around 7.40 pm. 

A pilot of the flight is said to have succumbed in the incident. The deceased pilot has been identified as Deepak Vasant Sathe, a former Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force who retired from the service in 2003. 

"A Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight fell down into the valley after landing at Runway 10 of Karipur Airport & broke down in two pieces. There were 191 people on board. Visibility was 2000 meter at the time of landing," the DGCA said in a statement. 

The flight -- IX 1344 -- had 191 people, including 174 passengers on board. 

"Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode at 1941 hrs tonight. No fire reported at the time of landing," an airline spokesperson said.

There were 174 passengers, 10 Infants, 2 Pilots and 5 cabin crew on board the aircraft, it said. 

As per the initial reports, rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care, Air India said. 

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed to take immediate rescue measures in the crash.  The Chief Minister directed Local Self Government Minister AC Modi to immediately rush to the spot and lead the rescue operation. 

A police team led by IG and fire and rescue team from two districts are carrying out rescue operations. NDRF teams have also rushed to the crash site. 

NDRF Director General SN Pradhan said teams of National Disaster Response Force are being rushed to Karipur Airport where the Dubai-Kozhikode flight skidded off the runway, for search and rescue. 

"We must remember that it is a tabletop runway at Kozhikode. There seems to have been injuries among all the passengers & some of them are unconscious. An NDRF team has been rushed to the spot & should be reaching any time there to join search &rescue operation," Pradhan said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to CM Vijayan regarding the situation. 

"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 @vijayanpinarayi Ji regarding the situation. Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected," Modi said in a tweet. 

A control room has also been activated for those seeking any information. Here is the phone number of control room for information on the accident at Karipur Airport:

The control room at the airport opened. Phone 0483-2719493

Relatives of passengers can contact the following Helpline Number for enquiries - 0495-2376901: Kozhikode Collector

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