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18 killed, 150 injured in Kerala tabletop tragedy

written by Sandy Milne | August 10, 2020

Air India Express Boeing 737 (VT-AXD) (Wikicommons/Nikkul).

An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 crashed in the south Indian state of Kerala on Friday, after skidding off the end of a tabletop runway on approach to Kozhikode Calicut International Airport.

The flight, number IX-1344, overshot Runway 28 in rainy conditions and “went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces”, according to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Minister Puri also confirmed that the incident led to the deaths of 18 people onboard – including the two pilots. Of 190 cabin crew and passengers onboard the aircraft, 150 remained in hospital as of Saturday.

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have since been recovered from the wreckage. While Puri’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation has yet to comment on the incident, local weather reports around the time of the crash indicate the aircraft was dealing with both a tailwind and runway rain.

Flight IX 1344 was operating a repatriation jaunt from Dubai to Kozhikode, bringing home Indian nationals stranded overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic as part of the government’s “Vande Bharat Mission”.

The plane was carrying 190 passengers and crew, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement. Among them were 10 infants.


  • I wonder if India has a problem with unlicensed pilots, as was exposed in Pakistan?

  • Mara M


    And the answer is no. Just a bad day in office. The PIC, Wing Commander Deepak Vasant Sathe, was a very accomplished, experienced and decorated airlines pilot who had previously served the Indian Air Force for more than two decades in command roles. He had landed on this very same airfield many times earlier and, considering the damage to the plane, it is because of the quick thinking of the pilots more than anything else that the casualties were that low.

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