MANGALORE (India) (Agencies) An Air India Express airliner crashed outside an airport in southern India on Saturday, killing 159 people when it burst into flames after overshooting a table-top runway and plunging into forest below. Officials said the Boeing 737-800, carrying 160 passengers and six crew on a flight from Dubai, careered off the end of the table-top runway at Bajpe airport and plunged into a forested gorge where it was engulfed in flames. Seven survivors managed to scramble from the burning wreckage of the ill-fated plane. The survivors described hearing a loud thud shortly after touchdown and said the main fuselage broke into two before filling with fire and thick smoke. The accident occurred shortly after 6:00am (0030 GMT). Bajpe airport serves the port city of Mangalore, about 20km away and around 320km west of the Karnataka state capital Bangalore. All 159 bodies had been recovered, Ajay Kumar Singh, a senior Karnataka police official, told reporters. The state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 was being piloted by British national of Serbian origin Capt Zlatko Glusica. The exact cause of the accident at the airport, which is about 30 km from the city, is yet to be ascertained. Officials described the landing conditions as fair with good visibility and said there had been no distress call from the cockpit. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who flew to the crash site, said seven passengers had survived. Three of them were in serious condition, while three were being treated for minor injuries and one escaped totally unscathed. A young boy pulled alive from the wreckage died on the way to hospital. It was Indias worst aviation disaster since 1996 when two passenger planes collided in mid-air near New Delhi with the loss of all 349 on board both flights. One survivor, Umer Farooq, told the NDTV news channel from his hospital bed that he had heard a bang as the plane touched down. The plane veered off towards some trees on the side and then the cabin filled with smoke. I got caught in some cables but managed to scramble out, said Farooq, who suffered burns to his arms, legs and face. Television images from the immediate aftermath of the crash showed smoke billowing from the fuselage, as emergency crews, who had struggled down steep, wooded slopes to reach the aircraft, sought to douse the fire with foam. The preliminary observation is that the aircraft touched down and did not contain itself within the runway space, Patel told reporters. He described the chief pilot, a Serbian national, as a very experienced flier who had logged 10,000 hours of flying time. Stressing that it was too early to determine the precise cause of the crash, Patel noted that the sanded safety area surrounding the runway in the event of an overshoot was shorter than at some airports. The flights black box has been recovered, the United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM said. Air India official Nambiar said the search for the flight data recorder was still going on. After returning to New Delhi to brief Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Patel said he felt personally, morally responsible for the crash, but declined to confirm reports that he had offered his resignation. The flight manifest said the 160 passengers - all of them Indian nationals - included 137 adults, 19 children and four infants. In a statement, US-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing said it was sending a team of investigators to India to help in the crash inquiry. Following are the names of survivors: Putturismail Abdulla, Joel Pratap DSouza, GK Pradeep, Krishnan Koolikkunnu, Mayankutty KP, Ummer Farook Mohammed and Ms Sabrina Nasrinhuq.