Dubai-India flight leaves 158 dead

Investigators probe India's first fatal passenger crash in a decade

Reports said the survivors had managed to get free from the wreckage before it went up in flames [Getty Images].
Reports said the survivors had managed to get free from the wreckage before it went up in flames [Getty Images].

Investigations are under way as to why the Air India Express Boeing Co plane, travelling from Dubai, ploughed off the runway in India, killing 158 people.

Flight IX 812 from Dubai to Mangalore crashed on Saturday morning in a wooded area with only eight people surviving.

Reports said the survivors had managed to get free from the wreckage before it went up in flames.

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The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 160 passengers and six crew and Air India said in a statement it was deploying “all its resources” to assist the families of passengers.

Boeing is sending a team to provide technical assistance to the investigation at the invitation of Indian authorities, the Chicago based aircraft manufacturer said in a statement.

According to reports both pilots were experienced and the plane was about two and a half years old - all the passengers were Indian nationals.

The plane fractured in two after leaving the runway, a survivor told CNN-IBN. He said in an interview from hospital that he and others managed to escape the wreckage through a crack in the fuselage

Speaking to the Press Trust of India, a survivor, identified by Air India as Mayankutty KP said: “There was no warning to passengers about any trouble and it appeared a smooth landing.”

“Immediately on touching the ground the aircraft jerked. Then it split in the middle and caught fire. I just jumped from the gap."

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