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Praful Patel arrives in Mangalore following Air India Express crash

Mangalore: Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has arrived here to access the situation after the Air India Express Flight from Dubai to Mangalore crashed while landing at the Mangalore Airport this morning.

Earlier this morning, Praful Patel had briefed the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, about rescue operations that were being carried out at the crash site.

Meanwhile, a probe team from Mumbai will arrive Mangalore today to inspect the crash site and determine the cause of the mishap.

Air India officials on Saturday confirmed eight survivors including four children had survived the Mangalore crash.

“The crash took place at around 6: 03 a.m. There were total 160 passengers, excluding six crew members. 158 are feared dead,” said Anup Kumar, Director, Air India.

“All the survivors have been admitted to the hospitals,” he added.

Dr Kadam of the AJ Hospital, where the eight survivors were brought, said two people were brought in dead and one was brought in with some burns.

“The survivor Farooq is in a stable condition. He was brought to the hospital with ten percent burn injuries,” said Dr Kadam.

Meanwhile, Air India sources said it was not raining outside though the visibility was six kilometers before the crash.

At least 20 fire tenders were rushed to the site as the plane was on fire and smoke was seen coming out of the airport.

The rescue operation is reported to be over, but sources said it is difficult to identify the dead.

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, have expressed shock and grief over the grievous loss of life resulting from the Air India Express crash.

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