At least 18 persons, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed after a Dubai-Calicut Air India Express aircraft carrying 190 passengers and crew skidded off the runway at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport and fell into a 35-feet valley before splitting into two pieces on Friday evening.

As many as 170 people were left injured in the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain over the tragedy and said he had spoken with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

The aircraft, with 190 people on board, was attempting to land in bad weather when it shot the runway around 7.40 pm and split into two after nose diving into a valley 35 feet below.

“Eighteen people, including two pilots, have lost their lives. It is unfortunate. 127 people are at hospitals, others have been released,” said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on the Air India Express flight that crash-landed on Friday evening.

Two special relief flights from Delhi and one from Mumbai for rendering humanitarian assistance to all the passengers and the family members of the Air India Express crash-landing incident reached Kozhikode on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) has been recovered from the Air India Express aircraft that crash-landed at the Kozhikode airport claiming at least 18 lives, said a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official.

The floorboard is being cut to retrieve the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), the DGCA official informed.

“We have started our investigation, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) team has reached the crash site,” said DGCA.

As an interim relief, the central government has announced compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of each deceased who lost their lives in the aircraft crash, while Rs 2 lakh will be given to those seriously injured.