Government announces interim relief for aircraft mishap victims

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 08, 2020

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri   -  PTI

Civil Aviation Minister Hardip Singh Puri has announced an interim relief of ₹10 lakh for kin of deceased, ₹2 lakh for people who are seriously injured and ₹50,000 for persons with minor injuries in the aircraft mishap at Calicut international airport at Karipur involving an Air India Express flight from Dubai on Friday night.

“We are doing whatever we can by way of an interim relief payment. This is over and above all other compensation which might be forthcoming from different agencies”, the Minister told reporters at Karipur on Saturday.

The Minister was here to take stock of the situation and implementation of relief measures. He also held discussions with senior civil aviation officials.

Asked on the exact cause of the accident, the Minister said: “It is premature for me to speculate on the precise cause of the accident. But the aircraft was operated by one of the distinguished commanders with more than 10,000 hours of flying experience and professional expertise. He has landed passenger aircraft here as many as 27 times including in this year.”

There are reports that the Director General of Civil Aviation had warned the Calicut Airport on safety issues, a year ago after finding that the runway was too smooth as it was rubber tampered. This would reduce the friction and landing aircraft could skid off. DGCA had also issued a notice to the airport director in this regard.

Answering a query in this regard, Puri said he spoke to DGCA and whatever observation he had made would be addressed.

The digital data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder have been recovered from the AIE flight and this would help finding the cause of the accident. These devices are with Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau and would be sent to Delhi for further investigation, he said adding that the government does not want to go for any kite flying as an investigation has been ordered to find out the exact cause.

“We were fortunate that unlike the tragic incident at Mangalore airport 10 years ago where an aircraft caught fire, here preventive actions minimized the loss of lives”, he said.

According to the Minister, 18 people were killed in the accident and 149 were in the hospital receiving treatment. 23 persons with minor injuries were discharged, 3 persons with minor injuries were discharged fromthe hospital.

The Union Minister V.Muraleedharan who was there at the press meet complimented the collective efforts of all agencies and the public for rendering a timely help to reduce the fatalities.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Government has also announced Rs10 lakh for the kin of the deceased and all facilities for the injured. Earlier Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan visited the Kozhikode Medical College where several persons injured are admitted.

Published on August 08, 2020

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