Kerala plane crash: 14 passengers critical; probe under way to determine exact cause

Kerala plane crash: 14 passengers critical; probe under way to determine exact cause

MALAPPURAM: The condition of at least 14 passengers of the ill-fated Air India Express flight that crashed while attempting to land at the Karipur airport in Kerala remains critical,

Malappuram district

collector K Gopalakrishnan said on Sunday.

Eighteen people, including the pilot and co-pilot of the

AIE flight

from Dubai, lost their lives when the plane overshot the tabletop runway at the airport while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions on Friday night.

“Till now, 49 people have been discharged from various hospitals in Malappuram and Kozhikode. The condition of 14 people remains critical,” Gopalakrishnan told news agency PTI.

The remaining 109 people are under treatment at different hospitals.

Meanwhile, investigators have started examining the black box of the Boeing-737 to determine the exact cause of the crash.

Arun Kumar, head of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said the country would open the recovered transcripts to international investigators, as well as manufacturer Boeing.

“Only after conducting a thorough and unbiased probe can we tell what exactly happened,” Kumar said.

The 2,700 metre runway at the airport is known as a “table-top”, an aviation term for runways with steep drops at one or both ends.

They leave little room for error should a pilot overshoot the runway, either through human error or mechanical failure.

An air traffic control official familiar with the crash confirmed this version of events, adding it is unusual to attempt a landing at the airport with a tailwind, which is typically used for takeoffs.

“The length of the runway in


is around 2,700 metres and the plane to

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