By

Don Jacobson & Danielle Haynes
Officials inspect the wreckage site of an Air India plane crash at Calicut airport in Kozhikode, India, on Friday. Photo courtesy of India's Civil Defense/EPA-EFE

Officials inspect the wreckage site of an Air India plane crash at Calicut airport in Kozhikode, India, on Friday. Photo courtesy of India’s Civil Defense/EPA-EFE
Aug. 7 (UPI) — An Air India Express jetliner carrying 190 people skidded off the runway while landing in southwest India on Friday, killing 20, local authorities said.

The crash occurred at Kozhikode Calicut International Airport in Kerala state. The dead include the plane’s pilot and co-pilot, the Hindustan Times reported.

Officials said the plane landed in heavy rain and overshot the runway, falling into a 30-foot deep gorge at the “tabletop” airport in the coastal city of Kozhikode. The aircraft broke apart into two sections, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

The flight, a Boeing 737, originated in Dubai and was part of a mission to bring home Indian nationals stranded abroad by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau was investigating the cause of the crash.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences on Twitter.

“Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode,” he said. “My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest.”