Sixteen people dead as repatriation flight from Dubai crash-lands at 'table top runway' in Kozhikode and breaks into two pieces
KOZHIKODE Aug 7: A repatriation flight from Dubai to Kozhikode, operated by the government to bring Indians home during international travel restrictions due to coronavirus, crash-landed at the Kozhikode Karipur Airport on Friday 7th August at 7.4pm and broke into two pieces. Police reports say that at least sixteen people including the pilot were killed and several others are injured and admitted to various hospitals with some in very life threatening conditions. "A Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight fell down into the valley after landing at Runway 10 of Karipur Airport & broke down in two pieces," said Directorate General of Civil Aviation. "Visibility was 2000 meter at the time of landing," the aviation regulator confirmed. Calicut International Airport is an international airport located in Karipur, Malappuram district of Kerala, India. It serves the Malabar region of Malappuram, Palakkad, Wayanad and Kozhikode. According to reports, Air India Express flight IX 1344 was ripped in half. Including the cabin crew, there were over 170 people on board the flight. The passengers in the front seats suffered major injuries. It is learned that more than 100 passengers were injured. Smoke erupted following the crash but further danger was averted as the flight didn't catch fire, it is assumed. Rajiv Jain, a spokesman for the civil aviation ministry, said the plane broke into two pieces on impact. He said no fire was reported on the Boeing 737 aircraft and that rescue operations are ongoing, with some injured people being taken to hospital. There were 174 adult passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft, Mr Jain added. Government official Amitabh Kant said the runway is on a hilltop with deep gorges on either side, making it difficult to land. A tabletop runway is a runway that is located on the top of a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep precipice which drops into a deep gorge. This type of runway creates an optical illusion which requires a very precise approach by the pilot. Calicut International Airport in Malappuram, India and Mangalore International Airport in Mangalore, India are examples of tabletop runways.