An Air India Express passenger plane from Dubai crashed outside an airport in southern India on Saturday, killing 158 people when it burst into flames and plunging into forest below. There were only eight survivors after the Boeing 737-800, with 166 people on board including crew, has skidded off the runway in rain at Mangalore airport in Karnataka state, Air India director Anup Srivastava said, according to Reuters.
All the passengers were Indian nationals, an Air India official in Dubai said. Many were likely Indian migrant workers in Dubai. The pilot was Serbian and said to be very experienced.
Air India Express is the budget arm of state-run carrier Air India.
Indications are that the crash was an accident, officials said. One TV report said the plane hit a radar pole on landing.
Television channels said the plane crashed around 6:30 a.m. (0100 GMT).