17 killed as Air India Express flight overshoots runway in heavy rains in Kozhikode in Kerala; both pilots among the dead | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs 17 killed as Air India Express flight overshoots runway in heavy rains in Kozhikode in Kerala; both pilots among the dead – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
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17 killed as Air India Express flight overshoots runway in heavy rains in Kozhikode in Kerala; both pilots among the dead

The mishap brought back memories of the crash of Air India Express flight IX 812 on May 22, 2010 at Mangaluru International Airport.

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Air India Express Flight IX-1344 Skid

Kozhikode, Aug 7 : Seventeen people were killed and scores injured when an Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 on board overshot the tabletop runway in Kozhikode airport in Kerala on Friday night while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions, officials said.

The pilot-in-command Captain Deepak Sathe and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who died, police and airline officials said. Sathe was a former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and had served at the force”s flight testing establishment.

“Unfortunately the pilots have passed away and we are in touch with their families in grief,” said an Air India Express statement past midnight.

The Civil Aviation Ministry said the Boeing 737 aircraft on a flight from Dubai to Kozhikode overshot the runway at Kozhikode airport at 7.41 PM on Friday. “No fire was reported at the time of landing,” it said.

There were 184 passengers including 10 infants, 2 pilots and 4 cabin crew on board the aircraft, the ministry added.

It was a repatriation flight operated by the Centre under the ”Vande Bharat” mission to bring home Indian nationals hit by international travel restrictions due to the spread of COVID-19.

Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishan told reporters at the airport that 17 people on board the aircraft were killed in the accident. The identity of the victims was not immediately known.

He also said some of the injured were in a critical condition.

Riyas, one of the passengers, who was rescued, said the flight went around the airport twice before attempting to land.

“I was in the back seat. There was a big noise and I don”t know what happened after that,” he told a TV channel.

Fathima, another passenger, said the flight landed with heavy force and moved forward.

A statement by civil aviation regulator DGCA said the airplane after landing at Runway 10 continued moving to the end of the runway amid heavy rains and “fell down in the valley and broke into two pieces”.

The Air India Express is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India and it has only B737 aircraft in its fleet.

TV footage from the accident site showed the aircraft split into two pieces and the debris lay scattered on the ground.

The mishap brought back memories of the crash of Air India Express flight IX 812 on May 22, 2010 at Mangaluru International Airport.

The flight from Dubai had overshot the runway and plunged down the cliff into a wooded valley, killing 158 people.

The probe into the 2010 crash had found that the Captain misjudged the height while landing, resulting in the flight overshooting the runway located on a plateau.

Help centres have being set up in Kozhikode, Sharjah and Dubai.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among several leaders who expressed shock at the accident.

Modi also spoke to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest,” the prime minister tweeted.

Authorities are at the spot providing all assistance to the affected, Modi said.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said he is deeply “anguished and distressed” at the accident and that relief teams from Air India and Airports Authority of India (AAI) are being immediately dispatched from Delhi and Mumbai.

“All efforts are being made to help passengers. A formal enquiry will be conducted by AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau),” the minister said on Twitter.

“The Air India Express flight number AXB-1344 on its way from Dubai to Kozhikode with 190 persons on board, overshot the runway in rainy conditions & went down 35 ft. into a slope before breaking up into two pieces,” he tweeted.

In another tweet at 12.01 am, he said the rescue operations have been completed.

“Two investigation teams of professionals from @airindiain @AAI_Official & AAIB will leave for Kozhikode at 02.00 hrs & 05.00 hrs. Everyone has now been rescued from the aircraft. Rescue operations are now complete. Injured being treated at various city hospitals,” he said.

Screams of pain, blood soaked clothes, terrified children and the blare of ambulance sirens captured the distressing scene that unfolded after the ill fated plane fell into the valley with a deafening sound.

Amid heavy rain, rescue personnel, including the local civil police, rushed to pull out the injured people from the aircraft while the passengers were stunned to even comprehend what had happened in a matter of moments that led to chaotic moments.

Children, some as young as four or five years clung on to the rescue personnel while things strewn around, from shoes to baggage, bore tell tale signs of the agonising moments endured by passengers.

The scene was similar in hospitals where the injured were rushed as screams rent the air with health workers trying to provide succor.

People living nearby pitched in on time to lend a helping hand to the shocked passengers.

A local man said he rushed to the airport after hearing a “terrible thud” when the airplane fell.

“Small kids were trapped under the seats and it was such a distressing sight,” he said.

“When we reached there some were deplaned.

“Many of them were seriously injured.

“Legs were broken….My hands and shirt were soaked in the blood of the injured persons”, he said.

Another man in the rescue operations, who could not be immediately identified, told a TV channel that the “injured pilot of the aircraft was taken out from the cockpit after breaking it.”

By the time ambulances started reaching the spot, the locals had already started shifting injured passengers in cars to various hospitals in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, he said.

Collector Gopalakrishnan said 110 people were admitted to seven hospitals in Kozhikode and 11 among them are dead.

“Remaining are under treatment and their condition are at different stages. Among the 80 people admitted in Malappuram hospitals we have received information of six deaths there.

“Some of the patients are critical,” he said.

The official also said two passengers, who got trapped at the tail portion of the aircraft, were rescued with great difficulty.

Chief Minister Vijayan asked all government agencies to engage in rescue operations using all government facilities.

He has deputed state minister A C Moideen to coordinate the rescue operations.

An Inspector General-rank officer was also deputed to oversee the operations.

Fire and Rescue teams of two districts– Kozhikode and Malappuram– were also pressed into service.

The condition of a mother and child injured in the accident was very serious, Health minister K K Shailaja said.

Business

‘Corporate vultures eying small banks, merge Lakshmi Vilas Bank with govt bank’

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Sensex equity Nifty

Chennai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should take a prompt and correct action of merging the 93-year-old Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with a nationalised bank, a top leader of one of the largest bank unions said.

“There are a number of corporate vultures that are circling the small-old generation private banks for a take over. These regional banks have their own tradition and culture and taking them beyond certain borders and expanding their size will result in failure,” All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.

It is not known who brings the suitors for the south-based, regional old-generation private banks and for what purpose.

Referring to the voting out of seven Directors of the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, and the statutory auditors by a group of shareholders at annual general meeting held on September 25, Venkatachalam said it is time for the RBI to act quickly in the interests of depositors.

“The RBI should take necessary steps to merge the LVB with a public sector bank to protect the depositors, rather than looking out for suitors who may not be suited for the bank’s culture,” he said.

According to Venkatachalam, banks like the LVB, Karur Vysya Bank (KVB), Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB), Karnataka Bank and others are largely regional banks steeped in their own tradition.

“Expanding them into unknown territories would result in trouble for them,” he said.

Citing the case of Kerala-based small-sized Dhanlaxmi Bank, Venkatachalam recalled that around 2008-2012, it made a loss of over Rs 850 crore as the top management brought it to serious problems in the name of modernising it.

He said with the intervention of the RBI, a change in top management, and strengthening its capital base, etc. and inducting some reputed people on the bank’s Board, Dhanlaxmi Bank turned around and earned profit.

As a part of turnaround, the bank closed down many of its branches in north Indian states, where inadequate controls landed it in problems, he said.

Venkatachalam said for the past two years, the Dhanlaxmi Bank is making profits with the profit for last fiscal being Rs 65 crore – the highest since the bank’s inception.

He pointed out the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank, which is operating steadily, as an example of a well-run, small-sized old generation bank which was started in 1904.

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Agri laws are death sentence for farmers: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Sep 28 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the agriculture-related laws are a “death sentence” for farmers whose voice has been crushed both inside and outside Parliament.

“The agriculture laws are a death sentence to our farmers. Their voice is crushed in Parliament and outside. Here is proof that democracy in India is dead,” he said on Twitter.

Gandhi tagged a news report along with his tweet that claimed that Opposition members demanding a division of votes were on their seats when the farm bills were passed in the Rajya Sabha, while the government said they were not.

Gandhi and his Congress party have been demanding that the farm legislations be withdrawn as they are not beneficial for farmers, who will be enslaved at the hands of private players and big businesses.

The Congress party is also protesting against the farm laws across the country.

The government has, however, asserted that the new laws will free farmers from the clutches of middleman and allow them to sell their produce anywhere they want at a remunerative price.

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India

Congress protests against farm laws in Goa, demands rollback

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

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Goa Congress Farm Protest

Panaji, Sep 28 : The Congress in Goa on Monday staged a protest at the Raj Bhavan here to protest against the three new agricultural laws and demanded their rollback.

In a memorandum submitted at the Raj Bhavan, Goa Congress leaders leading more than 1,000 protestors claimed the new legislations were “anti-farmer but corporate-friendly”.

Parliament passed the three Bills in its Monsoon Session. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent on September 24 whereas the central government published it its gazette on Sunday.

“The biggest flaw in the contract farming law is that Minimum Support Price (MSP) is not mandatory. Once the mandi system is abolished, farmers will be solely dependent on contract farming and big companies will decide the price of farmer’s crops on their own,” claimed the memorandum signed by top Congress functionaries and addressed to the President of India.

“If this is not a new ‘zamindari system’, what else is? Through this specious mode of contract farming, farmers will be left at the mercy of big companies, courts and bureaucracy in the event of any dispute.

“In such a scenario, powerful big companies will naturally exercise their influence on bureaucracy and attack the very livelihood of farmers by engaging them in the legal intricacies and earn profits,” the memorandum said.

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