IAF’s MIG-21 Crashes In Rajasthan; Three Civilians Killed, Pilot Safe

Locals gather after a MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Rajasthan on Monday-  PTI Photo

Jaipur/New Delhi- A MiG-21 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed on a house in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan on Monday, leaving three women dead and as many others injured on the ground, officials said.

The pilot sustained minor injuries in the crash that took place at around 9:45 am, the IAF said.

The plane was on a routine training sortie from the Air Force Station at Suratgarh in Ganganagar district, which is close to Hanumangarh.

“Soon thereafter, the pilot experienced an onboard emergency, following which he attempted to recover the aircraft as per existing procedures,” the IAF said in a statement.

“Having failed to do so, he initiated an ejection, sustaining minor injuries in the process. The pilot was recovered from about 25 kilometres North East of Suratgarh base,” it said.

The IAF said the “wreckage of the aircraft fell on a house in Bahlol Nagar in Hanumangarh district, unfortunately leading to the loss of three lives.”

“The IAF regrets the loss of lives and offers its deepest condolences to the bereaved families. A Court of Inquiry has been constituted to ascertain the cause of the accident,” it said.

IG, Bikaner range, Om Prakash said the pilot made all efforts to avert human casualties and crash-landed the plane on the outskirts of a village.

“Three women have died in the incident and three others are injured,” he said.

SP, Hanumangarh, Sudheer Chaudhary said the plane crashed on the house of one Ratti Ram, killing his wife Basho Kaur and two other women identified as Leela Devi and Banto Kaur.

Burn injuries led to the death of the women, he said.

Accrording to initial reports, the house of Ratti Ram was completely damaged besides some nearby houses.

A local resident said he heard a loud sound and saw a parachute coming down.Within seconds, the plane crashes on the house of Ratti Ram and wood stored in the house caught fire.

“Local people immediately started efforts to douse flames with the help of water and sand. Fire brigade and police reached the spot and the women were taken to a hospital,” the local resident told reporters in Hanumangarh.

Soon after the incident, locals gathered at the spot in large numbers.

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