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Air India Express Crash in Mangalore, India

Locations in this article:  Dubai, United Arab Emirates New Delhi, India

Air India ad - Crash in Manglore, IndiaSearchers continue to comb the remains of the Air India Express plane that crashed on the runway at Mangalore International Airport on Saturday.

On Saturday morning, the Air India Express Boeing 737 passenger jet, which took off from Dubai, hit a barrier wall, and plunged into a nearby valley while attempting to make a scheduled landing.

Teams from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation as well as local police picked through the rubble searching for the digital flight data recorder, a piece of the black box that could help determine what caused the plane to overshoot the Mangalore runway.

Of the 166 people on the Air India plane, only eight survived the crash. The death toll as of Monday is 158 fatalities.

Since there were no problems reported by the pilot or co-pilot prior to landing the plane,
India’s Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel speculated that human error might have caused the crash.

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The Mangalore International Airport is located on the top of a hill, with the extreme edges dropping 30 to 300 feet into a valley below.

Will Indian tourism be affected by Air India's crash?This type of runway is commonly called a “table-top” runway, and they are often considered tricky for landings because they leave little room to correct errors.

The Mangalore airport had additional challenges in that the runway was not level, with heights varying from 300 feet to 272 feet from east to west. The runway also was shorter and more narrow than guidelines recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The crash and doubts about the safety of Mangalore’s runway length, width and location have prompted the Indian government to review the airport and the safety of all airports in the region.

Indian officials ask, however, that judgment about Mangalore’s safety not be passed until more information is known about the crash. Despite Saturday’s tragedy, Indian officials point out that the airport has been in operation for 60 years and should not be abandoned because of one fatal incident.

By Adriana Padilla for

Related Links: Indian Express, International Business Times, DNA India

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