Rescuers have recovered the bodies of all 158 passengers killed in an Air India Express plane that crashed during landing in the southern Indian city of Mangalore on Saturday, Press Trust of India reported, citing police officials.
Air India Express said there were 166 people on board the Boeing 737 plane from Dubai that crashed at around 6:00 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) at south India's Mangalore airport. The plane reportedly overshot the runway while landing in wet weather amid poor visibility and was engulfed in flames.
Earlier reports said eight people lived through the disaster, the airline's latest statement says that seven people survived. One of the survivors, a 4-year-old girl, is believed to have died in the hands of doctors at the hospital, however the information has not yet been officially confirmed.
All passengers on board the plane are from India, the Ministry of Transportation said, adding that the pilot was a British citizen with Serbian roots, and the co-pilot was Indian.
There is so far been no official comment on the cause of the crash, although national media have quoted an unmanned official as saying pilot error may have been to blame.
The unnamed representative of the state of Karnataka, of which Mangalore is the chief port city, said that the plane first landed before flying off the runway at "a high speed."
Other media reports say flames were visible on the plane's left wing just before the crash.
Initial reports said one of the two pilots was a Russian national. But Air India Express later announced that they were from Serbia and India.
Media outlets in the United Arab Emirates, from where the plane took off, are reporting that one of the plane's four black boxes has been recovered.
Air India Express began operating some five years ago and is an offshoot of the state-run Air India. The Boeing 737-800 that crashed on Saturday was less than three years old.
This is the first major air disaster in India since July 2000, when some 60 people were killed in a crash in the eastern city of Patna.
NEW DELHI, May 22 (RIA Novosti)