SRINAGAR Six IAF officers including two pilots and a civilian were killed when an IAF helicopter crashed in Budgam district of central Kashmir, officials said.
The helicopter crashed in an open field near Garend Kalaan village in Budgam around 10.05 am, they said, adding seven bodies have been recovered from the scene.
A senior police official said that IAF's Fighter Jet MI 17 crashed at around 10:40 am at Garend Kalan, some 7 kilometers away from Budgam town.
The officer said that soon after the incident, searches were launched by the police, SDRF, army besides locals of the area. "During the searches, seven bodies were recovered from the site".
The officer said that among seven bodies, six are IAF personnel including two pilots and a civilian Kifayat Ahmad.
6 IAF officers killed in the Budgam helicopter crash have been identified as Siddharth Vashishth,, Ninad Mandvgane, Kumar Pandey, Vikrant Sahrawat, Pankaj Kumar and Deepak Pandey.
Local residents of Garend Kalan said that a civilian Kifayat Ahmad Ganaie (30) son of Mohammad Ramzan Ganie was busy on a phone call along with his three friends, some 15 to 20 meters away, from the site of the crash.
Soon after the jet crashed, at least three blasts took place and a part of the crashed jet hit the civilian resulting in his on spot death. Three others had a miraculous escape, Showkat Hussain a local resident said.
He said that soon after the incident the local residents rushed to the spot and found Kifayat dead with severe burn injuries besides the bodies of IAF personnel.
After conducting all medico-legal formalities, the body of the civilian was handed over to their family for last rites.
Meanwhile, all nine airports, including Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports were restored later in the afternoon for civilian air traffic hours after they were closed following the crash of an IAF jet in Budgam district.
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