Black box recovered, fatalities reach 18

NEW DELHI: The black box and cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the site of an Air India Express passenger aircraft crash in Kerala, a top official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told Reuters on Saturday.
The Air India Express plane, which was repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai due to the COVID-19 pandemic, overshot the runway of the Calicut International Airport in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday.
On Saturday, the death toll rose to 18, with 16 people severely injured in the crash. The flight was carrying 190 passengers and crew.
The plane’s pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the accident, K Gopalakrishnan, chief of the Malappuram district in Kerala, told Reuters.
“All passengers have been admitted to various hospitals, and they are also being tested for COVID-19,” Gopalakrishnan said, adding autopsy of the bodies would be carried out according to the COVID-19 protocol.
The Boeing-737 the plane skidded off the table-top runway of Calicut, crashing nose-first into the ground. Such runways are located at an altitude and have steep drops at one or both ends. In 2010, another Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at Mangalore, a city in the south, and slid down a hill, killing 158 people.–Agencies