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At least 18 dead, Air India Express plane from Dubai has crashed at Calicut airport.

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An Air India Express plane from Dubai has crashed on landing at Calicut airport in India’s Kerala region, killing at least 18 people, officials told local media.

The plane was carrying 191 passengers – including 10 infants, two pilots and five crew – when it slipped off the runway in Karipur, Kerala, injuring 123 people.

Images circulating online appeared to show the aircraft split into two parts, laying in a valley.

One of the pilots is among the dead according to Abdul Karim, a senior Kerala state police officer, who added that at least 15 of the injured were in critical condition.

The jet was on a repatriation flight carrying Indian citizens back to the country, officials said. Regular commercial flights have been halted in India because of the corona virus outbreak.

Passengers have since been evacuated from the jet, which had been flying from Dubai to Kozhikode in southern India. Four passengers are thought to be trapped in the wreckage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter that he had spoken to Kerala’s chief minister following the incident, adding: “Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode. My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest.

“Authorities are at the spot, providing all assistance to the affected.”Amitabh Kant, who heads the government’s planning commission, said the runway is on a hilltop with deep gorges on either side, making it difficult to land.“The incident happened because of heavy rains and poor visibility. This is truly devastating,” he told

The jet is the latest in a string of aircraft to have slipped off runways in India, prompting concerns over aviation safety standards in the country.

 

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Rahul Gandhi: Accepting Less Than Scrapping Farm Laws Will Be Deceit To Farmers

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The Congress has stepped up the demand of immediately scrapping the farm laws in the wake of the farmers’ protest in the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet,”Accepting less than scrapping of three black farm laws will be deceit to farmers and the country.”

The Congress leader’s reaction comes even as the meeting between the farmers and the government is going on to resolve the issue.

Talks between the Centre and over 34 farmer union representatives has started here, even as the farmers protest entered the eighth straight day with thousands sitting on different Delhi borders blocking essential supply chains to the city.

Like the previous round of talks held on December 1, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal are leading the meeting, which is expected to play a major role in farmers’ future course of action on whether they would continue the protest or withdraw it.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union, Bharatiya Kisan Sanyukta Morcha and Krantikari Kisan Union are among over the 34 farm union representatives taking part in the meeting, which started around 12.30 p.m.

The fourth round of meetings with the farmer leaders started at Vigyan Bhawan after the earlier talks remained inconclusive on December 1.

In the last meeting, the farmers’ representatives had unanimously rejected the Centre’s proposal of a special committee to resolve concerns over the farm laws.

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