Kozhikode: An Air India Express plane skidded off the runway while landing at Kerala's Kozhikode on Friday night (August 7). According to sources, a total of 16 people including two pilots have been declared dead. One of the pilots has been identified as Deepak Sathe. Rescue operation has begun.

According to reports, the plane was carrying 170 passengers and four other members from Dubai.

PM Narendra Modi expressed grief and stated that he spoke to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan.

Also watch: Kerala: Vande Bharat Mission Air India Express flight skids off runway; passengers injured, pilot dead

This aircraft was part of India's Vande Bharat repatriation initiative to bring back expatriates from foreign countries.

Air India Express X1344 plane was involved in the accident. The plane skidded off the runway and crashed to a depth of 40-50 feet. Air India Express sources said the plane was believed to have moved on after landing on the runway which ended in the accident.

At least 24 ambulances and fire tenders have been rushed to the airport.

Further details are awaited.