Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of each passenger who died in the tragic Air India Express crash at Karipur airport in Kozhikode on Friday.

Apart from the solatium, the chief minister said the state government would bear the treatment expenses of all those injured in the incident irrespective of the hospitals they are admitted in.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister’s Office has informed that all the air accident victims will be tested for COVID-19 including those who died in the crash. So far, only one victim has tested positive for Coronavirus.

State health minister KK Shailaja has also appealed to the local people who braved all odds to save passengers in the Air India Express plane crash, to go into quarantine as a precautionary measure amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.

The chief minister along with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had visited the Kozhikode Medical College, where several passengers who were injured in the plane crash are admitted.

Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, who visited the Kozhikode airport and took stock of the relief measures, had announced an interim relief of Rs 10 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, Rs 2 lakh each to the seriously injured and Rs 50,000 for those who suffered minor injuries.

The plane crash comes at a time when the state hospitals are battling an influx of Coronavirus patients.

As many as 18 people including two pilots have died in one of the worst air disasters witnessed in Kerala.

All on board were evacuated after a nearly three-hour operation and a total of 149 injured were admitted to hospitals in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts. At least 22 people are said to be in a critical condition, whereas, 23 persons have been discharged after treatment.

The Dubai-Kozhikode Air India Express flight (IX-1344), which was part of the Vande Bharat mission, overshoot the runway amid heavy rain, plunged deep down 35 ft. into the valley below and broke in two pieces while landing at Karipur International Airport in Kerala’s Kozhikode district.

However, the flight did not catch fire and thus a greater disaster was averted.

Meanwhile, the Digital Flight Data Recorder and Cockpit Voice Recorder of the ill-fated aircraft have been retrieved from the crash site.

The aviation minister said that the precise cause of the mishap will be determined after analysing data in the two black boxes.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman, Arvind Singh, meanwhile, told news agency ANI that the aircraft could not land at the runway where it was supposed to, after which landing was tried on another runway where the mishap happened.

Amid concerns, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has stated that the Vande Bharat flights have no problem and the mission would continue as planned.