Relief efforts for Air India Express flight survivors

Photo: WAM

Resources and personnel of the state and central governments in India were deployed in full force Saturday to assist survivors of the crash of an Air India Express plane from Dubai, which had an ill-fated landing in Calicut airport in Kerala last night.

Families of 18 people who died in the accident have been granted two million Indian rupees each, one million from the Kerala government and an equal amount for the central government.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who visited the crash site and hospitals this afternoon, assured these families that steps would be taken to get them compensation in accordance with an international convention of International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO.

He also granted rupees 200,000 as interim relief for passengers of the flight who were seriously injured and rupees 50,000 for others who sustained minor injuries.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who inspected the crash debris and visited the injured passengers, along with state Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, said the entire medical expenses of the crash victims would be paid for by the state government.

"Currently, 149 people are in various hospitals in Kerala, out of which 23 are in critical condition. Earlier today, 23 passengers were discharged from hospital after being provided initial medical assistance," Vijayan said.

The Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, who is in charge of the Gulf, was the first minister to arrive at the crash site early this morning as directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "An investigation is under way to ascertain various aspects of the crash," the Minister said later.

The flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder of the aircraft have been recovered from the crash debris an official of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, DGCA, told reporters. Together they comprise the plane’s "black box" and they will be flown to New Delhi for a decision on further analysis.

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