Image courtesy: The Indian Express

At least 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Air India Express passenger plane overshot the runway in heavy rain near Kozhikode on Friday, officials said.

The plane was carrying repatriating Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai to Calicut International Airport was carrying 190 passengers and crew, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement.

Among them were 10 infants.

The aircraft lay split into at least two chunks after the plane’s fuselage sheared apart as it fell into a valley 35 feet below, authorities said.

The office of the chief minister of Kerala, where the airport is located and which is home to a large number of Indians working in the Middle East, said that in addition to the 17 dead, 173 others had been hospitalized.

It was India’s worst passenger aircraft accident since 2010, when another Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at Mangalore and slid down a hill, killing 158 people.

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