Narrow Escape for Pilot, Locals
SRINAGAR: An Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter aircraft crashed on Monday morning in central-Kashmirs Budgam district but pilot ejected himself safely. Notably and miraculously, the crash did not lead to any casualties in the area. All the residents of the area were safe.
The fighter aircraft MIG-21 of 51 Squadron crashed in the paddy fields of Soibug, Budgam around 11 am, a senior defense ministry official told GNS. The aircraft was completely damaged in the crash, but the pilot escaped miraculously.
After managing to eject safely, the pilot was helped by the villagers before being rescued by the search parties. The pilot sustained minor injuries and has been hospitalized, the official said.
Soon after the incident, hundreds of curious villagers including a sizable number of school children thronged the village.
A number of trees were uprooted and burnt down by the impact of the crash. The aircraft crashed into the thick vegetation of Poplar trees
which stopped its slide towards the residential houses.
There was a big bang around 11 a.m. shortly after the craft hit the ground and soon plumes of smoke and fire engulfed the spot, Ghulam Mohammad, a local resident, said.
He said they locals rushed to the scene to help the survivors but later learnt that the pilot had ejected safely.
Nasir Ahmad, another local resident said that there was a miraculous escape for the students of the local school and the inmates of nearby residential houses.
Had not the aircraft stuck in the trees, it would have hit some of the residential houses and the nearby school. It is not only that the pilot had the miraculous escape, villagers and students also, he added.
The locals said that besides humans, six little puppies too had miraculous escape as the craft crashed near them.
The Army along with police, who arrived at the site of the crash later, could be seen searching for the black box.
Meanwhile, the IAF has initiated an enquiry to ascertain the cause of crash, an official added.
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