PM, Sonia Gandhi express shock, grief over Mangalore crash

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New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, on Saturday expressed shock and grief over the grievous loss of life resulting from the Air India Express crash near Mangalore this morning.

Dr Singh reportedly spoke to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who briefed him about the ongoing rescue operations at the crash site.

The Prime Minister sanctioned the release of about Rs. two lakh each for the families of those killed and Rs. 50,000 for those injured from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund and said that all possible assistance may be provided to the bereaved families.

Sonia Gandhi wished a speedy recovery to those injured.

As a mark of respect to those, who perished, a dinner that was to be held today at the Prime Minister's residence to mark the completion of the first year of the second term of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government has been postponed.

At least 169 people are feared dead after an Air India Express aircraft from Dubai to Mangalore overshot the runway while landing at the Mangalore airport on Saturday morning.

A total of 173 people including the crew members were on board the flight that crashed around 6: 30 a.m.

At least 20 fire tenders have been rushed to the site as the plane is on fire and smoke was seen coming out of the airport.

The rescue operation is still on with the help of around 150 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel.

It has been reported that there are six survivors, who have been rushed to the hospital. (ANI)

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