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Only detailed inquiry can ascertain cause of air crash: Patel

Mangalore (Karnataka), May 22 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Saturday assured all possible help to the families of those killed in the air crash here and said it was premature to ascertain the the actual cause for the mishap that claimed 158 lives.

‘All the other functions, but for touchdown and landing, including the conversations with the ATC (air traffic control) appeared to be normal,’ said Patel, who had reached here post-noon to oversee the rescue operations.

‘These are preliminary observations. There will be a detailed inquiry,’ he said, adding there is limited spill-over area at the Mangalore airport after the short runway. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will conduct a detailed inquiry.

Patel also brushed aside allegations that the airport safety norms were defied.

‘India has had a long unblemished record for several years. Unfortunately, this incident has saddened all of us and we are deeply shocked and pained,’ the minister said. ‘If an airport is deemed unsafe, there is no way we one can permit operations there.’

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