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Achuthanandan offers all assistance to victims

Mangalore (Karnataka), May 22 (Calcutta Tube) Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Saturday offered all possible help to the injured and kin of the passengers from his state who died in the Air India Express crash in Mangalore.

Achuthanandan reached Mangalore with three of his ministerial colleagues – Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi and Devaswom Minister Kadannappilli Ramachandran – as well as P. Karunakaran, the MP from Kasargod constituency that neighbours Mangalore, on hearing the news that there were several Malayalis among the victims.

‘It is a shocking incident. The state govenrment will do all possible help to the victims and their families,’ the chief minister said.

‘It is not ascertained that how many Malayalis died in the crash. According to our information, there were at least 50 passengers from Kerala on the flight,’ Karunakaran said, adding most of the charred bodies of the victims could not be identified.

Karunakaran told IANS that many of the Malayalis on board were from the north Kerala districts of Kasargod and Kannur.

Karunakaran, who is also deputy leader of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in the Lok Sabha, expressed satisfaction over the efforts being made by the central government and Karnataka government to give relief to the victims and their families. He also demanded a high-level probe into the accident.

At least 159 people were killed when the Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the runway after landing at the Mangalore airport early Saturday and caught fire as it crashed into a forested gorge.

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