Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan left here for Mangalore by road on Saturday morning on hearing about the crash of Air India Express flight from Dubai near the Mangalore airport. Many of the passengers in the plane were from Kasaragod district, according to reports.

The Chief Minister and Home Minister who were here to participate in a few public functions left for Mangalore at around 10 a.m. Health Minister P.K. Sreemathi also accompanied them. The Ministers cancelled their scheduled programmes here.

Ms. Sreemathi, who was on way to Mangalore, indicated that around 90 passengers from Kasaragod and Kannur districts were believed to be on board the crashed aircraft. She also expressed the concern about the general complaint that outdated aircraft were being used by Air India.

T.T.V. Bhaskaran, president of the Neeleswaram Urban Co-operative Bank, his wife Komalam, and Kasaragod Samyukta Jamaat Committee secretary Thalankara Ibrahim Khaleel were on board the plane, reports said.

Meanwhile, a control room has been opened at Kasaragod to provide information about the passengers involved in the plane accident. The telephone number of the control room is 04994-257700 and the toll free number is 1079.

Keywords: Aircraft crash