The Indian Consulate in Dubai will remain open on Saturday to help those who need assistance in getting to Kerala and provide information on the crash of the Air India Express flight that skidded off a hilltop runway and broke in two when landing in heavy rain at an airport. in Kozhikode, killing at least 17 people.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Boeing 737 plane on a flight from Dubai to Kozhikode overtook the runway at Kozhikode Airport on Friday at 7:41 p.m. There were 184 passengers including 10 babies, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew on the plane, the ministry added.
Captain Deepak Sathe, the captain, and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who died, police and airline officials said on Friday. Sathe was a former Indian Air Force (IAF) squadron commander and had served at the force’s flight test center.
“We are with all the families of the injured and deceased and will do our best to help them,” the consulate tweeted on Friday evening.
He said the consulate would remain open on Saturday to share any information related to the crash.
India’s new Consul General in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri, said there were all kinds of Indians on board Flight IX 1344, which took off from Dubai and fell into a valley 35 feet below before dividing into two parts.
“Some were cases of visa cancellation and expiration, some were traveling to meet with family members, some had lost their jobs and some were traveling for medical emergencies,” Puri told local media.
Indian consulates in Dubai and Sharjah have activated five hotlines to provide information to family members of the dead and injured passengers.
“We pray for the well-being of passengers and crew and will keep you updated as we receive further updates. Our hotlines +97156 5463903, +971543090572, +971543090571, + 971543090575, “Puri said on Friday.
The support number to call in Sharjah for updates is +97165970303, Gulf News reported.
Air India Express has also established a hotline number in Sharjah at +971 6 5970303.
Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India and has only B737s in its fleet.
Television footage from the crash site showed the plane split into two pieces with debris strewn on the ground.
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among the leaders who expressed their shock at the crash.
PM Modi also met with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
“Saddened by the plane crash in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured heal as soon as possible,” the Prime Minister tweeted.
The incident recalled the crash of Air India Express Flight IX 812 on May 22, 2010 at Mangaluru International Airport.
The flight from Dubai had overstepped the runway and plunged down the cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 people.
Hotline: Air India Express – 1800 2222 71, Airport Control Room – 0483 2719493, Malappuram Collectorate – 0483 2736320, Kozhikode Collectorate – 0495 2376901