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Published on Monday, August 10, 2020

Police investigation launched into Air India Express crash

A police investigation has begun into Friday's Air India Express crash in which 18 people died.

The flight from Dubai to Calicut overshot the runway at Kozhikode, Kerala, in heavy rainfall at around 19:00 local time (14:30 BTS)..

The police investigation will see whether various sections of the Aircraft Act and Indian Penal Code have been violated.

It covers the charge of causing death by negligence.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S. Puri said it 'overshot the runway in rainy conditions and went down,' referring to the slope which the runway sits upon.

The runway is known as a 'tabletop runway',  which sits upon a hill with slopes at either end.

The civil aviation ministry's Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is already investigating, with concerns over the use of these tabletop runways.

An Air India Express crash in Mangalore in 2010 bore similar hallmarks.

In that incident 158 people died.

A subsequent inquiry found extra pilot skill is required to land with potential catastrophic risks to undershooting or overshooting the runway.

"Soon we will have all transcripts from recovered black boxes. We are also going to talk to Boeing to examine the aircraft's original equipment and check for defects. Only after conducting a thorough and unbiased probe, can we tell what exactly happened," the Directorate of Civil Aviation said.


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