Kerala plane crash: Air India plane breaks in two at Calicut runway


A picture showing the aircraft after it crashed at at Calicut airport in Kerala

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Kaviyoor Santosh BNI

Image caption

The aircraft skidded off the runway at Calicut airport, breaking into two pieces

An Air India Express plane with 191 people on board has crashed at an airport in the southern state of Kerala, officials say.

The aircraft, en route from Dubai, skidded off the runway and broke in two at Calicut airport upon landing, India’s aviation authority said.

Rescue operations are under way, with emergency services at the scene.

At least two people, including the pilot, have died, the BBC has been told.

Several passengers are injured, a spokesman for the airline said.

The airline said there were 184 passengers – including 10 children and seven crew members, of which two were pilots – on board flight IX-1344 when it crashed at Calicut, also known as Kozhikode.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the plane fell into a valley and broke in two after skidding off the end of the runway. Images carried by Indian media show the aircraft broken in two pieces.

“Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. Have instructed NDRF [National Disaster Response Force] to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations,” Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

The incident happened at around 19:00 local time (14:30 BST) amid heavy rainfall in the region.

There have been flooding and landslides, as India’s monsoon season reaches its peak.

In May 2010, 158 people died when an Air India Express flight overshot Mangalore airport runway and crashed.

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Calicut airport is one of Kerala’s most prominent international terminals


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