Kozhikode: Following the incident on Friday, an air traffic control official at Kozhikode airport said, “It had been raining incessantly for several hours. The flight went around the airport twice and then tried to land.” He said luckily the aircraft, which took off from Dubai at 2 pm and was scheduled to land in Kozhikode at 7.27 pm, didn’t catch fire. “We immediately started rescue efforts with the support of local people.”

A DGCA official on Saturday said that the Digital Flight Data Recorder was recovered from the aircraft, while the floorboard was being cut to retrieve the Cockpit Voice Recorder.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan arrived in Kozhikode on Saturday morning to take stock of the situation.

While Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor will be visiting the crash site on Saturday, the state health department, keeping in mind the coronavirus pandemic has decided to send those who assisted in rescue work into quarantine.

The Kerala health department announced that all those who took part in the rescue operations will be required to go into quarantine. Kondotty, where the airport is situated, is already a containment zone with a high positivity rate. The surviving passengers are being tested for the virus. All those who took part in the rescue operations will also be tested, the department said.

Data from a popular global flight tracker website shows that the Air India Express plane that skidded off the tabletop runway at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport appears to have attempted to land twice at the airport. 

Flightradar24, that tracks the flight in real-time, indicated that the aircraft tried to land twice at the tabletop airport. The data showed the plane looping around the airport before attempting to land. 

Survivors told local television channels that the aircraft went up and down many times before landing and the disaster occurred after the plane had clearly touched the runway.