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AI flight crashed 5 minutes before landing

By Vicky Nanjappa
May 22, 2010 11:05 IST
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It was a matter of five minutes before the ill-fated Air India Express aircraft IX-892 from Dubai would have landed in Mangalore. Eyewitnesses said that they heard a loud sound at around 6.30 am. Major tragedy struck when the plane crashed, killing 162 people and leaving only 6 survivors.

The plane was flying low and just five minutes before the landing it overshot the runway and burst into flames. In all there were 137 adult passengers on the flight, 23 children and 6 crewmembers.

Although Indian Airlines has not issued an official statement on the details of the passengers, it is said that all the passengers were from Mangalore, Kasargod and Udupi districts.

Karnataka Home Minister V S Acharya had said that six persons had been rescued. However, the death toll raised by one more as an 11-year-old girl who was being treated in the hospital succumbed to her injuries.

Another survivor Farooq, who managed to jump out of the plane, is out of danger and is being treated at the hospital. The condition of three more in hospital is said to be critical. A 23-year-old lady, Sabina, is said to be out of danger. Sabina, who works as an intern with a hospital in Mangalore, was found hanging on a tree after the crash.

Meanwhile at the crash site, rescuers have managed to put out the fire on the aircraft. The bodies that are being retrieved are all charred beyond recognition. Scores of people have surrounded the area including the relatives of those who were on the aircraft.

The survivors are being treated at the AJ, SCS, Wenlock and KMC hospitals in Mangalore.

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Vicky Nanjappa