President Pratibha Patil expresses grief over Mangalore Air India Express crash

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New Delhi, May 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Saturday expressed her grief on the loss of lives in the Air India Express crash in Mangalore this morning.

In her condolence message, President Patil said: "I am saddened to learn about the Air India plane crash at Mangalore Airport today, in which many passengers lost their lives and a few others have survived."

"I am sure that all necessary help and assistance is being provided to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives in this tragic incident and also to the injured," her message added.

President Patil has also conveyed her sympathies to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives and also her earnest wishes for the early recovery of the injured passengers.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and Congress President Sonia Gandhi had expressed shock and grief over the grievous loss of life resulting from crash.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has confirmed that 158 people died in the crash, leaving behind eight survivors.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has briefed Prime Minister Singh about rescue operations that were being carried out at the crash site.

"There were 137 adults, 19 children, four infants and six crew members on board. Only eight survived. Four passengers sustained minor injuries. Three are severely injured," Patel said.

It was also reported that the pilot of the aircraft failed to signal or announce an emergency landing, which is being cited as a factor leading to the crash.

A probe team from Mumbai has arrived here to inspect the crash site and determine the cause of the mishap. (ANI)

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