22 Kerala officials involved in plane crash rescue operations test positive


Plane crash in Kerala: Air India Express Boeing 737 broke in half after landing in rain (File)


Twenty-two officials, including the district collector and the local police chief who responded to the plane crash in Kerala last week, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Malappuram chief medical officer said.

The Air India Express plane came with 184 passengers from Dubai as part of the central Vande Bharat mission which is expatriating Indians stranded abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They were quarantined after the end of the rescue operations at the plane crash site. Most of them were there,” the district doctor said.

The district physician team is performing a risk assessment and further details are awaited.

All aboard the crashed plane were evacuated after an operation lasting nearly three hours. Eighteen people, including the two pilots, died in the crash and more than 150 were injured. All of the survivors were admitted to various hospitals and were also tested for COVID-19.

Despite being the worst passenger plane crash in India since 2010, the death toll was significantly lower than at Mangaluru when another Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the runway at table and rolled down a hill, killing 158 people. A tabletop track sits atop a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep rise, which falls into a gorge. Such an airport presents a difficult condition for landing.


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