Air India plane crashed in the state of Kerala after skidding off the runway and breaking into two while landing at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport. At least 18 people died in the crash, including both pilots, with 18 people died and up to 30 others receiving treatment for serious injuries.

As soon as the Air India Express flight crash-landed in Kozhikode on Friday, over 40 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and Quick Response Team (QRT) reached the site and successfully evacuated the passengers, said MA Ganapathy, Special Director-General CISF adding that CISF’s quick response saved many lives.

The flight, number IX-1344, overshot the runway in rainy conditions, “went down 35-feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told. The aircraft crashed at 19:40 local time on Friday, as it attempted to land for a second time at Calicut International Airport. The first attempt was aborted by the pilots because of the heavy monsoon-season rainfall lashing Kerala.

The director general of India’s National Disaster Response Force(NDRF), S N Pradhan, said Calicut airport had a “table-top runway” and that the aircraft fell into “a ditch” after skidding across it. He said the impact with the bottom of the ditch caused the fuselage to break in two, and that the front half was “very badly mangled and damaged”.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced Rs 10 lakh compensation and said the medical expenses of those under treatment will be taken over by the state government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Amit Shah, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, among many other leaders and politicians expressed grief over the accident. United Nations’ specialised aviation agency, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), also regretted the accident.

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