Air India Express crash: Investigators reach Kozhikode, toll rises to 19

3 special relief flights have been arranged to provide help to affected passengers

air india express crash The ill-fated Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode | Reuters

The death toll in the Air India Express crash at Kozhikode Airport on Friday evening has risen to 19. The Air India Express aircraft from Dubai with 190 people, including 174 passengers, had skidded off the runway and broke into two.

The deceased included the flight's pilot Commander Deepak Sathe and co-pilot Akhilesh.

News agency ANI reported on Saturday morning that investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Branch and DGCA had reached Kozhikode to investigate the accident. Three special relief flights—one from Mumbai and two from Delhi—have been arranged to provide assistance to affected passengers and families.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted at midnight that all persons trapped in the wreckage of the Air India Express flight had been rescued. Puri tweeted "Two investigation teams of professionals from @airindiain @AAI_Official & AAIB will leave for Kozhikode at 02.00 hrs & 05.00 hrs. Everyone has now been rescued from the aircraft.  Rescue operations are now complete.  Injured being treated at various city hospitals."

Onmanorama reported the injured persons have been taken to hospitals in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts. At least 123 people have been admitted to hospitals in Kozhikode. The injured will be treated according to COVID-19 protocol, Onmanorama reported.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan reached Kozhikode on Friday night to take stock of the situation.