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At least 160 feared dead as Air India flight from Dubai catches fire at Mangalore
Saturday, May 22, 2010 10:00:20 AM, Agencies
Mangalore: An Air India Express flight with over 160 passengers and about six crew members overshot the runway while attempting to land at Mangalore from Dubai and the plane caught fire as it fell into a forested gorge Saturday morning, police said. Mangalore is about 350 km from Bangalore.
About ten people may have survived the crash, Rescue operation were hampered by the thick smoke that engulfed the plane, airport authorities said.
The accident occurred when the plane overshot the runway of the airport serving the city of Mangalore.
"At least 160 passengers have died in the crash," V S Acharya, Home Minister of Karnataka, told reporters.
The airport at Bajpe, about 30 km from Mangalore, is in a hilly area and is considered one of the most difficult airports to take off and land. The area has also been experiencing heavy rains for the last two days.
About 25 fire tenders and ambulances were at the crash site, authorities said.
The plane was carrying 163 passengers and nine crew members. Officials had said earlier 169 people were on the plane.
"The plane apparently overshot the runway and has crashed. We have news that the plane caught fire after crashing," Rohit Katiyar, a top airport security official, said.
The Prime Minister has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each for the families of those killed in the air crash and Rs 50,000 for the injured from the PM's National Relief Fund.
HELPLINE NOs: 011- 25603101 (Delhi) and 011- 25656196 (Delhi)
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