20 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed and more than 150 injured when a Vande Bharat mission flight from Dubai overshot the runway at Calicut International Airport, broke into two parts and fell into a deep gorge around 8 p.m. on Friday.
The passengers injured in the accident were shifted to hospitals in nearby Kondotty and various hospitals in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. The condition of many passengers at the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital and the MIMS Hospital is said to be critical.
Rescue operations were led by the disaster management team, police and fire and rescue personnel from both Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. Over a dozen ambulances from Kozhikode were sent to the airport. An NDRF team also reached the site to assist with the rescue operation.
The Boeing aircraft, carrying 189 passengers and six crew, attempted to land amidst heavy tailwinds and rain on the table-top runway. It failed to hold on the runway due to poor weather conditions, and skidded for more than 75 m.
The Kerala government has announced Rs 10 lakh compensation to the families of those who died in the Air India crash.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appreciated the quick rescue work at the site of the accident on Friday night.
“Yesterday, the fast response of local people and officials made all the difference. They braved bad weather and COVID fears to rescue their fellow beings. The long queues of people who wanted to donate blood was just one example,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We have seen this many times, when there is an adversity, the people of Kerala come together to fight it. Humanity, the greater goodness that binds us all, is the bedrock of our society. Let’s take a moment to congratulate the people of Malappuram and Kozhikode,” he added.