05/22/2010, 00.00
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Planes crashes in Mangalore, Church sends condolences

by Nirmala Carvalho
Plane was carrying 163 passengers and 6 crew members. Eight people may have survived. Card Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, sends a message of condolences.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – An Air India Express plane, with 163 passengers and six crew members on board, crashed on landing at Mangalore airport, in the state of Karnataka (south-west India). The aircraft was flying in from Dubai,

At present, there is no official information about survivors. Rohit Katiyar, an airport security official, said, “We fear all of them have been killed.” However, some local TV stations are saying that some people might have been pulled alive from the wreckage.

It is unclear whether the plane crashed before landing or after steering off the runaway.

Mangalore International Airport sits on top of a hill, near the town of Bajpe. Some experts consider it difficult for landing.

In the past ten years, the overall safety record of India’s airline industry has generally been good.

Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, issued a message of condolences via AsiaNews:

“I received with great sadness the news of this morning’s air tragedy and prayed at my Eucharistic celebration for the victims and their families.

The Indian Church grieves over this great loss of life in the air tragedy at Mangalore. We are aware that words cannot take away the grief, sorrow and pain, but we offer our prayers and solidarity to the families.

The Indian Church prays that those who have survived this ordeal may soon recover. We extend all support—emotional, spiritual and financial—to the survivors to enable them to cope and recover, and to help them in all ways possible

The Catholic Church in India expresses heartfelt condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims, and prays for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Consolation on these families. May they be consoled by the Holy Spirit, in their sufferings and pain over the loss of their loved ones.

The Indian Church prays for the eternal repose of the dead and implores the Almighty and merciful God for his gifts of comfort and strength on those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.”

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