Wednesday , March 22 2023

Two Indian military jets crash after midair collision


Bureau Report

NEW DELHI: Two Indian Air Force fighter jets have crashed after an apparent midair collision while on exercises about 300km (185 miles) south of the capital, New Delhi.

Both aircraft had taken off on Saturday morning from the Gwalior airbase, about 50km (30 miles) east of where they came down.

“We have located the wreckage of one of the planes and found an injured pilot in the Pahadgarh forests,” Officer Dharmender Gaur told media.

“The other plane has likely fallen further away from the site and we have sent teams to locate it.”

Meanwhile, local administrator Ankit Asthana told Reuters news agency two of the three crew members from one jet were rescued and rushed to hospital.

The status of the third crew member was not immediately clear, and no details were released on the crew of the second plane.

The aircraft that crashed in India’s Madhya Pradesh state were a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage 2000, ANI news agency said in a tweet, citing defence sources.

Saturday’s is the latest in a string of aviation accidents involving India’s military air fleet.

Five army soldiers were killed last October when their helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh state, near the country’s militarized and disputed border with China.

It was the second military chopper crash in the northeastern state that month, coming weeks after a Cheetah helicopter came down near the town of Tawang, killing its pilot.

India’s defence chief, General Bipin Rawat, was among 13 people killed when his Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed while transporting him to an air force base in December 2021.

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