At least 18 passengers died including two pilot and four children when an Air India Flight IX-1344 crashed while landing at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport on Friday night.
The Boeing -737 flight from Dubai to Calicut International Airport was carrying 190 passengers and crew. The aircraft didn’t land properly due to heavy rain and skid off the runway and fell into a 35 feet valley disintegrate into two parts. India’s top aviation body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar today informed that the aircraft crashed due to the poor judgment of the pilot as the runway was long enough for a safe landing. The death toll could have been higher if the pilot not switched off the engines on time. It could have been worse if the flight was in flame.
Near about 149 passengers were hospitalized, out of which 23 are critically injured. At least one of the victims was has tested Covid-19 positive according to Kerala’s chief minister. The Flight was one of the repatriation flights operated by the Indian government to bring back the nationals stranded abroad due to pandemic travel restrictions.
As the death toll rises, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Saturday announced a relief of Rs 10 lakh for the family of each deceased person, Rs 2 lakh for seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who sustained minor injuries. Additionally, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also announced a relief of Rs 10 lakh for the deceased.
Still, it’s not yet confirmed the exact cause of the ill-fated crash. The poor judgment, maintenance issue, or the friction test at the airport. The investigation is underway as the BlackBox from the crash site has been recovered for further probe.