Saturday, May 22, 2010
Air India Express, Deadly Crash
An Air India Express airliner crashed and burst into flames outside an airport in southern India on Saturday, killing 158 people. The Boeing 737-800 appeared to skid off the table-top runway in rain at Mangalore airport in Karnataka state and plunged into a forest below. Eight of the 166 passengers and crew on board survived. Ajay Kumar Singh, a senior Karnataka police official, told reporters,"We had no hope to survive, but we survived, the plane broke into two and we jumped off the plane, as soon as the plane landed, within seconds this happened." Local television showed a fireman carrying what seemed to be the remains of a child from the smoking wreckage. Charred bodies lay in the forested terrain. All the passengers were Indian nationals Many were likely to be Indian migrant workers in Dubai. The pilot was a British national of Serbian origin with over 10,000 hours of flying experience. Investigators on the scene have located the flight's black box. One TV report said the plane hit a radar pole on landing. The plane struck a forested area, and flames blazed from the wreckage as rescue workers fought to bring the fire under control. Boeing said in a statement it was sending a team to provide technical assistance to the crash investigation.