The Air India Express flight at Mangaluru International Airport in Karnataka on Sunday

Mangaluru: An Air India Express aircraft that arrived from Dubai had a narrow escape after it skidded off after landing at the Mangaluru International Airport in Karnataka around 5.45 pm on Sunday.

There were 181 passengers on board, besides the two pilots and six crew members. All of them were evacuated and are said to be safe, said sources.

As per sources, the aircraft went into a muddy stretch near the ‘runway end safety area’ (RESA). “The aircraft nose wheel crossed a small drain,” the sources added.

RESA is a formal means to limit the consequences when planes overrun the end of a runway during a landing or a rejected take-off, or undershoot the intended landing runway.

The Mangaluru airport is said to be dangerous as it has a tabletop runway and is located on the top of a hill with either end dropping into deep gorges.

The aircraft’s skidding eerily reminds us of a similar incident of May 22, 2010, when a Boeing 737-800 passenger jet operating Air India Express flight 812 from Dubai to Mangaluru crashed on landing at the Mangaluru airport.

The captain of the aircraft had continued an unstabilised approach, despite three calls from the first officer to “go around”, resulting in the aircraft overshooting the runway, falling down a hillside and bursting into flames.

Of the 160 passengers and six crew members on board, only eight passengers survived.

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