Kozhikode (Kerala) [India], Aug 8 (ANI): The black boxes from the Air India Express Flight IX-1344 that crash-landed in Kozhikode have been recovered and the precise cause of the mishap will be determined after analysing them, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who arrived here on Saturday to take stock of the situation said.
"We visited the site of crash and two black boxes have been recovered. The precise cause of the mishap will be determined when we analyse data in those black boxes," he said.
He tweeted later to say "Digital Flight Data Recorder & Cockpit Voice Recorder of the ill-fated aircraft have been retrieved. AAIB is conducting investigations."
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is conducting a probe into the Friday evening crash landing of the Air India flight, inwhic 18 people were killed. He also said that out of 149 people admitted to hospitals, three of them are critical and are on ventilators.
"There were 190 people on board the aircraft, out of them, 18 lost their lives. 149 people were also admitted to hospitals, of out which 23 have been discharged. A few patients are in critical condition, three of them are also on ventilators," he added.
The Civil Aviation Minister announced Rs 10 lakh interim relief for the families of each of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured.
"As interim relief, we will be making a payment of Rs 10 lakh to (the kin of) each deceased, Rs 2 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries," said Puri.
"We were fortunate that unlike the tragic accident at Mangaluru Airport 10 years ago, where the aircraft caught fire, here preventive action minimised the loss of lives," he added.
The Civil Aviation Minister continued saying that the aircraft was being captained and operated by Captain Deepak Sathe, a former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) whom he said was one of the most experienced and distinguished commanders
"In fact, he had landed on this airfield as many as 27 times, including this year," he added.
Puri earlier took to Twitter and wrote, "My heart goes out to the families and friends of the 18 people who lost their lives in the air accident involving Air India Express Flight IX-1344 in Kozhikode last evening and offer my heartfelt condolences. Reasons for the mishap are being investigated." (ANI)