Mangalore crash: Praful Patel may offer to quit

     Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel is likely to meet the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, this evening and submit his resignation taking moral responsibility for the Air India Express Flight crash in which 158 people were killed. Patel, who arrived in Mangalore to access the situation following the crash of the Air India Express Flight from Dubai to Mangalore, said the plane overshot the runway, and there was no defect in it. "The two pilots had over 1,000 hours of flying experience. The pilots were experienced and familiar with the terrain," Patel told reporters. "The runway visibility stood at six kilometers when the incident took place. The visibility was normal. The ATC signal was also clear," he added. Patel further confirmed that 158 people had died in the crash and that there were eight survivors. "There were 137 adults, 19 children, four infants and six crew members on board," Patel said. "Only eight survived. Four passengers sustained minor injuries. Three are severely injured," he added. The Civil Aviation Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 75 lakhs to the family of the dead. Earlier this morning, Patel had briefed the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, about the rescue operations that were being carried out at the crash site. It was also reported this morning 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. Meanwhile, a probe team from Mumbai will arrive in Mangalore today to inspect the crash site and determine the cause of the mishap.

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