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Pattaya Daily News

22 May 2010 :: 18:05:49 pm 21707

Air India Flight from Dubai Crashes Killing 160, 6 Survivors

An Air India flight from Dubai has crashed in a wooded valley approximately six miles from the Mangalore airport in India. At present, 6 survivors have been rescued from the wreckage with up to 160 people feared dead.
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India, the 22nd of May 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: The Air India flight IX-892, a Boeing 737-800, crashed early on Saturday morning after apparently overshooting the precarious Mangalore runway. The plane carrying 166 passengers and crew had only been in service for 3 years and was one of the newest editions to the Air India fleet.

Rescue efforts were further complicated by severe rain at the crash site, whilst the step wooded valley sides prevented rescuers from evacuating the injured survivors easily. The nearest hospital is also believed to be over 10 miles away. Televised images have shown rescuers carrying limp bodies away from the wreckage which was engulfed in flames being combated by firefighters.

The cause of the accident is not yet clear, with air traffic controllers reportedly receiving no distress message or other communications from the pilot suggesting the aircraft was having mechanical or operational problems. The pilot was reportedly a Russian expatriate, and the co-pilot was Indian.

The runway at the Mangalore airport is relatively short and has what’s known as a “tabletop” layout, with a flattened area carved out of mountainous terrain overlooking a valley, giving pilots a relatively small margin of error.

One survivor, Umer Farooq, said after being admitted to the hospital that “there was a loud noise, followed by fire. I managed to jump out of a broken window,” he said.

TV images showed more than 15 firetrucks, 20 ambulances and 100 rescue workers standing at the outer limits of the wreckage, with dense smoke billowing from the valley and part of a mangled wing resting almost vertically on a slope.

The crash is being labelled as the worst air disaster in India since a Saudi airliner crashed with a Kazakh cargo plane in 1996 killing 349 people.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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