Multiple fatalities were feared after a passenger jet with 191 people on board crash-landed at an airport in southern India on Friday and broke in two, officials and reports said. The Air India Express flight from Dubai crashed at Kozhikode airport in Kerala state.
CBS News has confirmed that the pilot, identified as Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe, was killed in the crash, while local media reported dozens of passengers were taken to hospitals.
Rajiv Jain, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Ministry, said no fire was reported on the Boeing 737 aircraft after it landed. He said there were 174 adult passengers, 10 infants, two pilots and five cabin crew on board the aircraft.
“”Rescue operations are on but the rains are making it difficult,” an emergency services official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
The fuselage split into two, local television networks said, and video posted to social media showed the aftermath of the crash with fire hoses being sprayed on the aircraft.
Indian Home Minister Amit Shah said in a tweet that he was “distressed to learn about the tragic accident of Air India Express aircraft at Kozhikode.”
Air India Express is a low-cost subsidiary of Air India that flies Boeing 737-800s.
Arshad Zargar and Kris Van Cleave contributed reporting.