Tragedy hit India again on 7th August evening when an Air India flight from Dubai overshot the Kozhikode/Calicut tabletop runway and fell off into the valley underneath.
The plane, Boeing 737 was carrying 190 passengers, 4 cabin crew members and 2 pilots. It landed on the runway at 7:41 pm on Friday but due to the strong winds it could not stop where it was supposed to and fell into a 35 feet deep valley and broke off into two parts.
In the extremely tragic incident, the two pilots, Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe and Captain Akhilesh Kumar lost their lives. 15 passengers were declared dead by the airline.
“As of now, there are 17 confirmed deceased including two pilots. The four-cabin crew members are confirmed safe. A special relief flight has been arranged from Mumbai and Delhi for rendering humanitarian assistance to all pax and family members,” the Air India Express issued a statement.
The weather was the cause behind the mishap.
Due to heavy rain and turbulence, the pilots were dubious about the landing. Not just that, the flight circled the airport twice before deciding to land. The wind speed was 15 knots and heavy rain was pouring.
VT-AXH landed beyond the touchdown point because it was high on approach and could not stop at its intended spot. The runway being tabletop, the flight fell into the valley and broke into two halves.
“Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by Boeing 737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot the runway at Kozhikode at 7.41 pm Friday. No fire reported at the time of landing. Rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care,” AI spokesman says.
Aviation minister H S Puri expressed his sincere regret in a series of tweets.
“Unfortunately, 16 people have lost their lives. I offer my heartfelt condolences to their next of kin and pray for a speedy recovery of the injured….The flight overshot the runway in rainy conditions and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking into two pieces. A formal enquiry will be conducted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB).”
The Tweet further said, “Two investigation teams o professionals from AI, AAI, and AAIB will leave for Kozhikode at 2 am and 5 am (Saturday). Everyone now has been rescued from the aircraft. Rescue operations are now complete.”
K J Alphons, a senior BJP leader of Kerala too was shocked and tweeted regarding the tragic accident.
“Second tragedy of the day in Kerala: Air India Express skids off the runway at Kozhikode, front portion splits, the pilot dies and a lot of passengers injured. All passengers evacuated. Very lucky the aircraft didn’t catch fire.”
The mental health of people is already affected due to raging pandemic and the additional tragedies hitting our nation is making life even more difficult. But kindness, generosity and positivity can help you deal with problems and live a better life. The people of Kerala, around the region of Calicut. Till late hours, people came forward with vehicles to take people to hospitals. Some even donated blood.
The kindness of the people was nationally appreciated.