“My heart bleeds for the air accident of Air India Express in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their beloved ones and are injured, Satoshi Suzuki Ambassador of Japan to India”
This devastating incident took place at Calicut international airport on 7 August 2020, when the aircraft was attempting to land in a bad weather at 19:40 (pm IST) and split into two after nose-diving into a valley 35 feet below, flight IX 1134 was carrying 184 passengers including 10 infants and 6 crew members out of which 4 crew members have been rescued, 123 passengers are injured and are evacuated to nearby hospital, 19 passengers including 2 pilots lost their lives.
A pilot, who works for IndiGo stated that he warned about the safety concerns regarding the runway of Kozhikode airport at Karipur airport. In a Facebook post a pilot claimed that the airport’s “runway guidance lighting system is very poor” and “breaking conditions is not monitored regularly (sic).
Pilot Deepak Vasanth Sathe, who died along with co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar, was a former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force and had served with its flight testing wing. Officials stated that he had also flown often to the Kozhikode sector.
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Pilot Anand Mohan Raj wrote, “Have made feedback to the concerned authorities’ right after many landing in the last years. Safety is the first word in aviation. Rest in Peace Captain Deepak Sathe &Captain Akhilesh. Heartfelt condolences to the families who lost their dear ones,”
Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal, along with senior airline officers visit accident site to take stock of the situation, and said that all possible assistance is being provided to those affected. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also showed his concern on Twitter.
DGCA, Civil Aviation Ministry senior officials, Airports Authority of India, and Air Navigation Service members to meet in Delhi today over crash landing of AI flight.
The flight was part of the Vande Bharat repatriation mission and most passengers were stranded non-resident Keralites returning home from the UAE following the Covid-19 pandemic. Kerala’s health minister KK Shailaja say’s “All those who were involved in rescue operations at Kozhikode Airport should go into self-quarantine. State Government to conduct Covid-19 tests of all.”
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