On June 13, a MiG-27 crashed in Mahaveer Nagar, a residential area in Jodhpur, reportedly damaging two houses, one of them Pranav Joshi’s. Pranav Joshi, 30, is a garment trader from Jodhpur.
1. Where were you at the time of the plane crash?
It was around 11.30 am and I was reading the newspaper in the courtyard. My sister, Swayam Jyoti Joshi, who was sitting barely five metres away from me, was teaching two children from the neighbourhood. My father was at work and my mother had gone to the temple.
2. What was the first thing you saw?
Suddenly, there was a loud noise and it seemed as if someone had bombed our house. The children ran out immediately to see what had happened and my sister and I followed them. As we got to the gate we saw that an aircraft had crashed into our kitchen and the adjoining verandah. There was a thick haze and we couldn’t make out anything. I was in a daze till evening… our house was burning and I couldn’t do anything.
3. So what did you do next?
I was worried because there were four gas cylinders in the kitchen. I began making calls to the police and the fire brigade. I couldn’t get through to the police immediately, but they came half-an-hour later. The fire brigade arrived in the next 45 minutes. Thankfully, the cylinders did not explode.
4. What is the extent of damage to your house?
We had three bedrooms on the ground floor and another room on the first floor. They have all been destroyed. The fire from the crash was very intense and has charred the electrical wiring completely, so the entire house needs to be rebuilt. We have been living with our neighbours in the day and for the night we move in with one of our relatives.
5. So what next?
Debris from the MiG is still being cleared. We have got some assurances from the local MP about compensation, but there has been no confirmation. Once the rubble is cleared we will pursue the case.