Mangalore and Kozikhode both have tabletop runways 

knn, 08-08-2020 00:04:45

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Mangalore and Kozikhode both have tabletop runways 

"More than 80 people have been taken to eight hospitals in Kozhikode and others are being taken to Mallapuram district."

Air India Express said Flight IX-1344 from Dubai was carrying 184 passengers, including 10 infants, and six crew members, including two pilots.

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation said the plane landed in heavy rain and after landing at Runway 10, it continued past the end of the runway and fell into a valley.

India’s civil aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, said he has ordered an investigation into the mishap.

Eyewitness describes pulling children from wreckage

One eyewitness told the news website Greatandhra how he and others had rushed to help with rescue efforts at the crash site.

The unnamed man, who lives 20 metres from the airport’s perimeter wall, said: "We saw the cockpit of the aircraft jutting out of the compound wall. We were a few people and we started to bang the airport gate."

Security forces at the then invited the group to help.

"We saw a fire engine and an ambulance arriving ... and we rushed inside. We rescued the children first and assisted several others also."

Dr Azad Moopen, managing director of Aster hospitals, based in the UAE and India, said three passengers died at the Aster Mims hospital in Calicut.

“Our doctors, nurses and critical care staff are on standby and will do all possible to save lives and treat the patients,” Dr Moopen told The National.

“People were brought in a serious condition. The number of deaths is increasing because of the impact when the plane cracked in the middle.

“Luckily there was no fire or explosion. Calicut airport is on a table top and due to the heavy rain the plane went off the runway and into a 40-foot gorge.”

India opens helplines for relatives in the UAE

Dr Aman Puri, India’s consul general in Dubai, said pilot Deepak Sathe was killed while the co-pilot was among those critically injured at the airport, also known as Calicut.“Our deepest condolences go to the family members of those who have lost their lives and to others injured. e are praying the injured recover soon,” said Dr Puri.

“We stand with them in this time of grief and have activated four helplines on a 24/7 basis. This is a tragic incident. From what we hear the tragedy happened because of the weather and the plane overshot the runway. The details will come in due course.”

The Dubai to Kerala air route is one of the busiest operated from the UAE.

It is estimated that about one third of the UAE’s more than three million Indian residents hail from Kerala, and there are longstanding economic ties between the prosperous southern state and Gulf nations.

Dozens of flights took to the skies from July 12 during a two-week window of repatriation flights from the UAE, as part of India’s Vandhe Bharat mission to bring expats home.

That has since been extended several times, with about 90 flights due to fly between UAE and India between August 1 and 15, and another 100 or so between August 15 and 31.

To date, about 275,000 Indian expats have returned home, India’s consulate in Dubai said last week.

This was the third Air India Express flight from the UAE to south India to crash on landing in the past decade. The previous incident was on June 30 last year, when a Boeing 737 overshot the runway in wet conditions at the Mangalore airport in Karnataka state. None of the crew or passengers were seriously injured.

However, a similar incident at Mangalore airport on May 22, 2010, claimed the lives of 158 people out of 174 on board. The plane overshot the runway, also in wet conditions, and plunged into a forested valley before bursting into flames.

The airports in Mangalore and Kozikhode both have tabletop runways – located on a plateau adjacent to a valley or gorge.

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