Air India Express has announced setting up of help centres at Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from where the ill-fated flight to Kozhikode took off on Friday afternoon. The carrier also issued a statement to express regret at the accident that has reportedly led to deaths of at least 11 people including two pilots and injuries to at least 40 passengers, according to preliminary information coming through official channels.

In a separate effort to provide information to kin of passengers– some of who have been rushed to hospital while rescue and search operations for others continue—Kozhikode collector has set up a helpline number– 0495 – 2376901—for providing information related to the crash of Air India Express Flight (IX 1344).

10 infants among 191 on Kozhikode plane that overshot runway and fell in valley, says Air India

The flight was one among the several being operated under the Vande Bharat Mission being run by the Indian government to bring home Indian citizens stuck abroad due to restrictions on international travel due to coronavirus pandemic. After the crash, Air India Express issued a statement of regret and added that the flights under the mission will continue.

“We regret that there has been an incident regarding our aircraft VT GHK, operating IX 1344 DXB CCJ. Due to crash landing of the flight, it may affect the network but Vande Bharat Mission continues,” said the airline.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on phone about the plane crash to take stock of the rescue and search efforts, reported ANI. Kerala CM has informed the Prime Minister that a team of officials including Kozhikode & Malappuram district collectors and IG of Police, Ashok Yadav, have arrived at the airport and are participating in the rescue operation, said a release by the Kerala CM’s office.

Kerala Plane Crash Live Updates

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Viajay has instructed the state police and fire department to take urgent action for rescue and relief operations. He tweeted to say that he has also directed the officials to make necessary arrangements for rescue and medical support.

Home minister Amit Shah tweeted that he had instructed National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) to reach the site immediately and carry out rescue operations.

“Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala. I have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations,”Shah tweeted.

NDRF director general SN Pradhan confirmed that teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were being rushed to Karipur Airport for search and rescue.

Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode Airport around 7:41 pm on Friday and fell into a gorge. There were 174 passengers, 10 Infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft, said ministry of civil aviation.

At least 40 passengers have received injuries in the mishap which took place after the plane overshot the runway while landing during rainy conditions at the airport and broke into two parts.

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