Kozhikode, August 8, 2020: A special evacuation flight (IX-1344) bringing people home to India who had been trapped abroad because of the coronavirus skidded off a runway and split in two while landing Friday in heavy rain in the southern state of Kerala. The crash killed at least 18 passengers and over 142 injured, police said.
Authirities have confirmed both pilots, including Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe, were among those killed in the crash. Abdul Karim, a senior Kerala state police officer, said at least 15 of the injured were in critical condition, and that rescue operations were over.
The aircraft, with 190 people on board, was attempting to land in bad weather when it shot the runway around 7.40 pm and split into two after nosediving into a valley 35 feet below. In a statement, the DGCA said, “Visibility was 2,000 metres and there was heavy rain.” It said the flight, IX-1344, shot runway 10. Rescue operations, which went on till 12 pm, are over.
HELPLINE NUMBERS: 0495-2376901 (Helpline number for relatives of passengers); 0483-2719493 (Control room number at Kozhikode airport); 0097165970303 (Control room number at Sharjah airport in UAE); 009710565463903 (Control room number at Dubai airport); 009710543090572 (Control room number at Dubai airport)