KOCHI, India -- The plane swayed violently as it approached a hilltop runway drenched in monsoon rain, and moments later the special return flight for Indians stranded abroad by the pandemic skidded off, nosedived and cracked in two, leaving 18 dead and more than 120 injured.
Among the injured on Friday night, at least 15 were in critical condition.
The dead included both pilots of the Air India Express flight while the four cabin crew are safe.
The 2-year-old Boeing 737-800 flew from Dubai to Kozhikode, also called Calicut, in Kerala, India’s southernmost state.
A passenger says after the plane hit the runway, it nosedived followed by a big noise and people screaming.
The runway is on a flat hilltop with deep gorges on either side.