New Delhi: An Air India Express flight enroute from Dubai skid off the runway while landing at Kerala's Kozhikode airport on Friday. While no official word is available so far on the number of casualties, visuals that have emerged on Twitter show the aircraft split into two parts on the runway. Unverified reports have claimed that one of the pilots of the aircraft has been killed and around 40 passengers have been believed to be injured. The flight was carrying 191 passengers, including crew members.
The mishap took place as the Air India Express Dubai flight crash-landed on the runway in Kozhikode. After skidding off the runway, the aircraft broke into pieces. The incident took place as heavy rainfall lashed the area. According to sources, the rain prevented the aircraft from catching fire.
The Air India Express flight AXB1344, B737, from Dubai to Calicut, was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, an operation started by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to bring Indians, stuck abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, back home.
Sources, who spoke to PSU Watch on the condition of anonymity, said that the airport in Kozhikode has a tabletop runway like the one in Mangalore. "If Pilot overshoots the runway, the aircraft will fall into a gorge… Due to heavy rains and wet weather conditions plane skidded on landing, but thankfully the rains stopped the plane from catching fire!" they said.
It seems that such tabletop airports have a tendency to create optical illusions for pilots from the top, especially when the weather conditions are bad, said sources.
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