Air India Express Crashes and Splits in Two After Skidding off Runway With Nearly 200 on Board

An Air India Express plane split in two after skidding off a runway with somewhere between 170 and 190 passengers on board, several of whom were injured. Indian Express, a news outlet, reports that the plane was meant to fly to Dubai, but never got off the ground. U.K. news outlet, The Independent reports at least 35 people were hurt in the crash.

"The aircraft overshot the runway, fell into a valley and broke up into two pieces," DGCA sources told the outlet. "There are some survivors." It is also being reported that the pilot of the plane was killed in the ground crash, with CNN noting that at least two other people were killed as well.

KJ Alphones, the country's former Minister of State for Tourism, has since tweeted out about the crash and offered some details he was advised of. "Second tragedy of the day in Kerala: Air India Express skids off the run way at Kozhikode, front portion splits, pilot dies and lots of passengers injured. All passengers evacuated. Very lucky the aircraft didn’t catch fire."

Amit Shah, India's Union Home Minister, has also issued a statement on the crash. "Distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft in Kozhikode, Kerala," he wrote in a tweet. "Have instructed NDRF to reach the site at the earliest and assist with the rescue operations." The Times of India has shared some photos of the crash, which show the damage from multiple angles.

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In his statement, India's External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said they were "deeply distressed" to hear about the Air India Express tragedy. "Prayers are with the bereaved families and those injured. We are ascertaining further details," they said. Sambit Patra, the National Spokesperson for India's Bharatiya Janata Party, added, "Prayers for all passengers in the Air India Express Flight accident in Calicut."

C R Paatil, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party, also offered a statement, saying, "Extremely sad to hear Air India Express aircraft crashed at Kozhikode, Kerala. My prayers are with the families of passengers. I wish speedy recovery of all injured."