The black box of ill-fated Air India flight IX-1344 that crashed in Kerala killing at least 18 people has been recovered, Indian aviation minister said on Saturday.
The plane was carrying 190 people skidded during landing Friday night and broke in two, injuring 127 passengers.
The plane was carrying a special flight from Dubai to bring back Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic, missed the runway at Kozhikode in Kerala state, plunged down an embankment and broke up.
The Indian Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri visited the crashed site Saturday and told that the flight data and cockpit voice recorders had been found, which will assist the probe into the cause of the crash.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau was conducting the probe, he added.
Kozhikode is considered a tricky airport as it has a table-top runway with a steep drop at one end.
Kerala has been hit by severe floods in recent days and heavy rains had been falling for several hours at Kozhikode as the jet landed.
The Indian Aviation Minister put the latest death toll at 18, while authorities said 22 people were in critical condition in hospital.
The fatalities included the two pilots as well as four children.
Passenger Renjith Panangad, 34, recalled the plane touching the ground and then everything went “blank”.
“After the crash, the emergency door opened and I dragged myself out somehow,” he told AFP from a hospital bed in Kozhikode.
“The front part of the plane was gone — it was completely gone. I don´t know how I made it but I´m grateful. I am still shaken.”
The impact was so brutal that the nose of the Boeing 737 finished about 20 metres (yards) from the back half of the jet.
“All that we could hear were screams all around. People were soaked in blood everywhere, some had fractures, some were unconscious,” said local resident Fazal Puthiyakath who was among the first at the scene.