Kozhikode, Aug 8 : Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan who arrived here with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a few of his cabinet colleagues on Saturday, expressed deep sadness at the tragedy after visiting the injured at the Medical College hospital.
"In the past 48 hours, Kerala has seen two tragedies and this has affected the state very badly. I got a call from the President who has conveyed his deep condolences," said Khan.
It was on Thursday night that a landslide near Munnar in Idukki district left 23 people dead. Around 50 people residing in four tea estate lines are missing after a portion of a huge hill came down on them.
And on Friday night an Air India Express flight from Dubai skidded off the runway at Kozhikode airport and fell into a 35 feet deep gorge, leaving 18 dead and several others injured.
Vijayan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him soon after learning about the accident.
"The flight had 190 people on board and included six crew. Eighteen people including the two pilots and a crew member have died. Among the dead are 14 senior citizens (seven men and 7 women) and four children. 149 of the injured passengers are in various hospitals, 23 of them have been discharged, while the condition of 21 is serious," said Vijayan.
One passenger of the ill-fated flight has tested Covid positive and the results of all the others are awaited.
"The pilot and co-pilot and a crew member have lost their lives and Air India will take possession of their bodies. From 3 p.m. onwards the bodies of the victims will be handed over to the relatives. We have announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased, while the cost of the entire treatment of all the injured will be borne by the State. If need be, the State will again come to the help of all if there is a need," said Vijayan.
"I will take this opportunity to thank each one who came to the rescue of the passengers the moment the accident occurred and it includes locals, airport officials and also the health professionals," added Vijayan.
Both Khan and Vijayan also inspected the accident site.
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-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text