Plane crash in Kerala: “black boxes” of an Air India plane discovered

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EPA

Legend
The flight was carrying Indian citizens stranded by the coronavirus pandemic


Investigators have uncovered the so-called “black boxes” of a plane that crashed in the state of Kerala, in southern India, killing at least 18 people.

The Air India Express plane, coming from Dubai, skidded off the runway in bad weather before breaking in two when landing at Kozhikode Airport.

There were 190 people on board the flight and an official said it was a “miracle” that the toll was not higher.

It is still the worst passenger plane crash in India in a decade.

The flight repatriated Indians stranded by the coronavirus crisis. First responders to the accident have been asked to self-quarantine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened” by the accident.

What do we know about the accident?

Flight IX 1134 was carrying 184 passengers, including 10 babies, and six crew members when it attempted to land at Kozhikode Airport, formerly known as Calicut.

The Boeing 737 crashed at 7:40 p.m. local time (2:10 p.m. GMT) on Friday. Indian media said the pilots could not see the runway on a first landing attempt due to heavy rain.

When they landed, the plane reportedly landed on a traffic lane hundreds of meters before the runway, then it skidded and slipped into a ditch.

The impact broke the plane in two. Images from the scene showed the jagged fuselage, with the blue seats of the jet strewn on the floor.

Kozhikode has a tabletop airport, a challenge for crews on hard landings as they usually have steep inclines at one or both ends of the runway.

The two pilots were among the dead. Almost 150 people are treated at the hospital.

What’s the latest on the survey?

Indian Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri visited the crash site on Saturday, where he announced the recovery of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, which could prove to be crucial in investigating the accident.

He congratulated the lead pilot and said it was too early to say what the specific cause of the crash was.

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Media captionKerala plane crash aftermath shows plane smashed in half

“We have to be thankful that the losses are just that,” he said.

“The plane fell from 35 feet [10 metres] down and the rescuers were able to access it immediately, cut the body of the plane and recover the people trapped inside. ”

An anonymous official told AFP: “Fuel had escaped, so it was a miracle that the plane did not catch fire, the toll could have been much higher,” said a senior official. emergencies at the scene. ”

Victim who never succeeded

Par Imran Qureshi, BBC News

Sharfudeen, 29, was so excited to return home that he posted on social media that they would be back in a few hours.

He never did, one of the victims of the crash at Kozhikode airport.

His granddaughter and his wife Amina were injured and are being treated in hospital.

“The doctors told us she was fine. She was transferred to the intensive care unit, ”Hani Hasan, her uncle, told the BBC.

“She constantly asked for her husband. We didn’t tell him anything, ”he added.

At least half of the passengers were those who had lost their jobs or whose visas had expired. The rest were largely Indian nationals stranded in Dubai due to the coronavirus lockdown.

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