Crashed plane was in good shape, visibility not poor: AAI

New Delhi, May 22 (Calcutta Tube) Runway visibility was good for landing and there was no problem with the Air India Express Boeing 737 that crashed in Mangalore, killing 158 people Saturday, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.

‘The aircraft was in good shape and there was no problem with it. There was no operational deficiency at Mangalore airport,’ said V.P. Agarwal, chairman, AAI.

Refuting claims that there was poor visibility on the runway at the time of landing, Agarwal said: ‘Runway visibility was 6 km, which is good for landing.’

Agarwal said the airports authority would hold an inquiry into the accident but for now the priority was to arrange relief for the victims.

He said two runways are operational at Mangalore airport, which is on a hill top.

‘Every day 32 domestic and international flights operate from Mangalore airport. We have done the construction on the runway in 2005 and 2006 and also built a new terminal building,’ Agarwal said.

At least 158 people were killed Saturday morning when the Air India Express Boeing 737, with 166 passengers and crew flying from Dubai, overshot the runway while landing at the Mangalore airport and turned into a ball of fire as it crashed into a forested ravine, authorities and eyewitnesses said.

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