An Air India Express passenger flight overshot the runway at the Calicut airport on Friday during a heavy rain, skidding off the tarmac and breaking in two.

At least 15 of the 190 people on board, including the pilot, are dead, with at least 35 injured. Four are still reported to be stuck in the wreckage.

The flight, IX-1344, had been en route from Dubai to the southern Indian state of Kerala when the accident occurred at around 7 p.m. (19:00) local time. The flight was carrying 184 passengers, including 10 children and infants, as well as six crew members, including two pilots. The flight had been repatriating Indian citizens stuck overseas because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As per the initial reports rescue operations are on and passengers are being taken to hospital for medical care,” India’s civil aviation administration said in a statement.

After it went off the runway, the craft fell down a ridge, causing the fuselage to snap into two parts. Officials reported that there was no fire  on the craft following the crash.

Kerala has been among the regions in India experiencing heavy rainfall as the country approaches peak monsoon season. Landslides and flooding have been common in the area where the flight went down.

Air India is generally known for its strong safety record, with only three crashes reported in the main company’s history. The last one occurred in June 1985 when a bomb was detonated on a flight bound from Canada to Bombay. The flight went down near the coast of Ireland, killing all 307 passengers and 22 crew members. The other crashes occurred in 1978 and 1982.

In May 2010, a flight run by Air India Express, a smaller, budget subsidiary, en route from Dubai crashed after overshooting the runway at Mangalore. All six crew members of 152 out of the flight’s 160 passengers were killed.

The Air India Express jet skidded off the runway at Kozhikode airport in the southern state of Kerala The Air India Express jet skidded off the runway at Kozhikode airport in the southern state of Kerala Photo: AFP / Money SHARMA