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India’s deadly track slider likely due to poor visibility, wet track: expert



KOCHI, India – The plane rocked violently as it approached the runway at the top of the hill, immersed in monsoon rain, and moments later a special return flight for the Indians, stranded abroad from the pandemic, escaped, carried and cracked two, left 18 dead and more than 120 wounded,

At least 15 of those injured Friday night are in critical condition, said Abdul Karim, a senior police officer in southern Kerala. The dead included both pilots of the Air India Express flight, the airline said in a statement, adding that the four cabin crews were safe.

The 2-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode, also called Calicut, in Kerala. There were 1

74 adult passengers, 10 babies, two pilots and four cabin crews on board.

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In a telephone interview from his hospital bed, Renjit Panangad, a plumber returning for the first time in three years after losing his job at a construction company in Dubai, said the plane was rocking before the crash and everything was dark.

Officials stand on the wreckage of an Air India Express flight that escaped a runway during a landing at Kozhikode Airport, Kerala, India, Saturday, August 8, 2020 (Associated Press)

Officials stand on the wreckage of an Air India Express flight that escaped a runway during a landing at Kozhikode Airport, Kerala, India, Saturday, August 8, 2020 (Associated Press)

He said he followed other passengers who crawled out on the way through the emergency door.

“Many passengers were bleeding,” said Panangad, who escaped unharmed. “I still can’t figure out what happened. As I try to remember what happened, my body trembles. “

He said the pilot made a regular announcement before landing and moments after the plane hit the runway, it was carried.

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“There was a lot of noise during the strike and people started screaming,” he said.

Kozhikode’s 2,850-meter run (9,350 feet) is on a flat peak with deep gorges on both sides, ending in a 34-meter drop.

The flight of the Air India Express, which escaped from the runway during the landing at the airport in Kozhikode, Kerala, India, Friday, August 7, 2020 (Associated Press)

The flight of the Air India Express, which escaped from the runway during the landing at the airport in Kozhikode, Kerala, India, Friday, August 7, 2020 (Associated Press)

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri said in a statement that the flight “jumped the runway in rainy conditions and went downhill”, breaking in two on impact.

As the rain stopped on Saturday morning, searchers restored the flight recorder after the plane crash investigation bureau began work on the wreckage. Air India Express said its teams have also reached out to Calicut to support and assist the victims’ families.

A similar tragedy was narrowly avoided at the same airport a year ago, when an Air India Express flight was hit with a tail on landing. None of the 180 passengers on this flight were injured.

Investigators’ investigative questions will include not only the plane, the weather and the pilots, but also the runway itself. Its final safety zone was expanded in 2018 to accommodate wide-body aircraft.

A safety zone at the end of the runway meets UN requirements for international civil aviation, but the UN agency recommends a buffer that is 150 meters (492 feet) longer than that of Kozhikode Airport, according to Haro Ranter, chief executive. on the online database of the aviation safety network.

India’s Press Trust news agency said the country’s aviation regulator had sought an explanation from the director of Kozhikode Airport in 2019 about finding “various critical safety gaps” that included runway cracks, stagnant water and excessive rubber deposits. .

Dubai-based aviation consultant Mark Martin said that while it was too early to determine the cause of the crash, the annual conditions for the monsoons seemed to be a factor.

“Low visibility, a wet runway, a low cloud base, all of which leads to very poor braking performance is what seems to be leading to where we are right now with this crash,” Martin said, calling on the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration. United States Administration of Assistance to the Indian Government.

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja asked locals who joined the rescue effort to quarantine as a precaution. The survivors were tested for the virus, officials said.

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The Air India Express flight was part of a special repatriation mission of the Indian government to return Indian citizens to the country, officials said. All passengers were returning from the Gulf region, authorities said. Regular trade flights have been suspended in India due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “sick of the Kozhikode plane crash” and that he had spoken to Kerala’s top official.

Air India Express is a subsidiary of Air India.

The worst air crash in India was on November 12, 1996, when a Saudi airline flight collided with a Kazakh airline flight near Charki Dadri in Haryana, killing all 349 on board the two planes.

Sheikh Saalik announced from New Delhi.


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