Eight survive Air India Express crash in Mangalore, 158 others die (Update)May 22nd, 2010 - 8:34 pm ICT by BNO News
MANGALORE, INDIA (BNO NEWS) — Nearly 160 people were killed when an Air India Express passenger plane crashed as it was landing at an airport in the southern Indian city of Mangalore on early Saturday, officials said.
A total of 160 passengers - including four infants - and six crew members were on board the Boeing 737-800 when it crashed close to Mangalore International Airport, in the country’s Karnataka state. Air India Express Flight 812 - a low-cost airline subsidiary of Air India - had taken off from Dubai International Airport about three hours before it crashed in Mangalore, at around 6.30 a.m. local time.
Air India director Anup Srivastava confirmed 158 people had been killed, but said eight others had survived and were transported to a local hospital. They are not believed to have sustained life-threatening injuries.
Most of the aircraft was destroyed in the crash, and footage from Suvarna News showed what appeared to be several severely burnt bodies. Firefighters quickly extinguished several small fires at the scene.
Srivastava said the plane touched down briefly and crashed down a hill after it overshot the runway. One of the survivors told CNN-IBN that he noticed a left door was open and jumped off the plane as it overshot the runway, possibly before it crashed down the hill.
“The accident occurred after the aircraft landed at Mangalore airport and overshot the runway,” a written statement from Air India Express said. “Air India is currently confirming the identities of the casualties.”
The airliner and officials did not immediately say what may have caused the crash, but poor weather conditions may have contributed to the crash.
Air India has opened four helpline numbers for relatives and friends of the victims: 011-2565-6196, 011-2560-3101, 0824-2220422 and 0824-2220424.
The Boeing Company said it would send a team to provide technical assistance to the investigation at the invitation of the Indian authorities. “Boeing wishes to express its profound condolences to the friends and family of those lost on Air India Express [Flight] IX-, as well as its wish for the recovery of those injured,” said Jim Proulx, a spokesman for the company.
A spokesman for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said it would also send three investigators to assist Indian authorities. “We will be sending a team of investigators, a total of three, along with representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, and GE,” the spokesman said.
The British Foreign Office said it was not aware of any British nationals on board the flight, but said it was investigating media reports that the pilot of the aircraft may have been a British citizen of Serbian origin.
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the victims, their families and all others affected by the tragic plane crash in Mangalore,” said UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. “We wish those who have been injured a full and quick recovery.”
European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek also offered his condolences, and said he was ‘touched’ to hear there were survivors from the crash. “I have also been informed that, against the odds, there are eight survivors,” Buzek said. “I’m touched their lives have been saved, it’s like receiving a second chance.”
Mangalore airport is about 30.5 kilometers (19 miles) from Mangalore city.
On Monday, Pamir Airways Flight 112 - which was carrying 38 passengers and three crew members - crashed during a flight from Kunduz to Kabul in Afghanistan. All of those on board are believed to have been killed.
And last week, on May 12, Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 crashed in Tripoli on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A total of 93 passengers, most of them Dutch, and 11 crew members were killed. One Dutch boy, 9-year-old Ruben van Assouw, was the sole survivor.
Saturday’s plane crash is believed to be the deadliest in India since November 12, 1996 when Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763 collided in mid-air with Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 over the village of Charki Dadri, India. A total of 349 people on board were killed.
- European Parliament President Buzek offers condolences to the families of Indian plane crash victims - May 22, 2010
- Mangalore air crash: DNA experts arrives as 26 bodies still unidentified - May 23, 2010
- Only one woman on AI Express survived - May 22, 2010
- 158 killed as Air India plane plunges down cliff at Mangalore (Afternoon Lead) - May 22, 2010
- Bodies of three more Keralite crash victims identified - May 26, 2010
- Mangalore air crash: All bodies of victims recovered - May 23, 2010
- Mangalore Air crash due to pilot's error - Sep 08, 2010
- Mangalore air crash: Black Box found - May 23, 2010
- Report blames pilot error for Air India Express crash that killed 158 - Nov 17, 2010
- Second probe into Mangalore plane-crash incident likely: E. Ahmed - May 23, 2010
- 150 killed in Air India crash in Mangalore (Third Lead) - May 22, 2010
- US condoles Mangalore air crash deaths - May 22, 2010
- There could be more survivors: Air India - May 22, 2010
- UAE president condoles deaths in Mangalore air crash - May 23, 2010
- Mangalore crash: Supreme Court notice on Rs.75 lakh compensation - Jan 03, 2012
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