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New Delhi, August 8, 2020
Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said here on Saturday that there was no need to speculate on what happened before or during the aircraft crash at Kozhikode airport in Kerala. He said all should wait for the DGCA investigation report.
He also announced an interim assistance of Rs 10 lakh for the deceased, Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured, and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries in the Friday night crash.
Puri arrived here this morning and went around the Kozhikode airport. "In situations like these, there are things that need to be done -- the first one is rescue, then medical attention, recovery of the black box; and then, ordering a DGCA probe," the Minister pointed out.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing the cause of the crash ofthe Air India Express flight from Dubai that skidded off and fell 35-feet below into the valley at the end of the table-top runway. A total of 18 people lost their lives, including the two pilots and a member of the cabin crew. There were 190 people on board.
Puri said: "The Centre and the state government area working very closely on the crash case. The black box has been recovered. Now, all I wish to say is that let us not speculate as a full and comprehensive probe will take place. Once that is done, we will look into the case."
Puri, holding the civil aviation portfolio since June 2019, said that when he was told about the table-top airport, he immediately called up the DGCA. "I was told that all issues will be looked into. I won't like to speculate on anything as it will be inappropriate. Let the probe take place and we will get all the answers," the Minister added.
As for any "human error" in the crash, Puri said: "Every issue will be looked into. Also, let me tell you that there are table-top airports not just in our country, but all over the world. These airports pose a problem but then landing clearances are given based on the experience of the pilots."