Karipur crash victims upset after Air India withdraws support for medical treatment

The recent letter from the airline has come as a shock to many of the victims as they have no clue how to continue their medical treatment.
Air India Express crash
Air India Express crash
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“We thus take this opportunity to notify you that we shall no longer be paying the cost of any medical treatment or care expenses presented to us beyond 30 days from the date of this letter,” says the last part of a letter from Air India Express Limited sent to many of the victims of the air crash at Calicut International Airport, Karipur on August 7, 2020.

The recent letter from the airline has come as a shock to many of the victims as they have no clue how to continue their medical treatment. Some were offered compensation, which they haven’t yet agreed to as they say that the amount cannot compensate for their loss.

Thirty-seven-year-old Ashraf Moodora from Kozhikode district’s Ivapuram was working in a restaurant in Dubai. When the pandemic struck, he boarded the ill-fated aircraft in the hope that he would return to work after the lockdown. But it has been a year since he’s confined to his home after sustaining severe injuries in his right leg and left unable to walk. “I had many surgeries, some bones were damaged, there was infection in my legs. Doctors say my legs will not be normal as before. I was informed that when everything opened up in Dubai someone was replaced in my post. I have no job and will not be able to go to work in the near future due to the treatments,” Ashraf says.

He was the sole breadwinner for his family. “I have two children aged 13 and 8, wife and elderly mother to look after. If the airline stops paying treatment expenses, we have no idea how to carry on,” he adds.

Initially Air India gave Rs 2 lakh to all victims who were seriously injured. However, the victims say that this amount will be deducted from the final compensation as per the agreement they signed. “The compensation they are offering now is not enough. I had a salary of more than Rs 1 lakh per month. As a person with disabilities, what job can I get? Moreover, they have stopped paying the treatment expenses, so we are still waiting for a better compensation offer from the company,” Ashraf explains.


Muhammed Sherif, 39, from Ponnani is another victim who received the letter from Air India. Sherif had lost his feet in the crash. Though they were attached later through surgery, they remain numb and he is unable to walk. He also suffers from neurological issues due to some head injuries he sustained. “Doctors say long-term treatment is required. We’re really worried about how we will bear the expenses,” he says.

Sherif, who was working in a hair salon in Dubai, has a wife and 5-year-old daughter and was the only earning member in the family.


The reason the airline is withdrawing support for the medical expenses of the victims, as mentioned in the letter, was that it had already offered them a final compensation. Many of the seriously injured passengers were offered Rs 1 core as compensation. But many victims haven’t accepted it as they claim that a good portion of the amount will go towards their future treatment, which would go on for years.

The Boeing 737-800 Air India Express flight 1344, which was part of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring Indian nationals who were stranded in Dubai, crashed after overshooting the Karipur runway on the night of August 7 last year. Among the 184 passengers on the flight, 21 lost their lives and around 100 were injured.

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