Tiger plane engine removed from 13th floor of revenue headquarters

Rescue personnel on Saturday removed the engine of an LTTE aircraft from the 13th floor of a Government...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Colombo | Published: February 22, 2009 12:13 am

Rescue personnel on Saturday removed the engine of an LTTE aircraft from the 13th floor of a Government building where it had crashed after being shot in the Colombo sky.

“We had to ensure that the engine parts did not fall into the floors below,which had also suffered a bit of damage,and we successfully brought it down from the 13th floor using a high crane,” an official said.

It took hours to complete the operation to bring down the engine of the plane that had crashed on Friday night.

In an air attack on Friday night,two light aircraft of the LTTE bombed Colombo,hitting the main Revenue Department building near Air Force Headquarters before being shot down.

“I heard a thud and gazed at something huge on top at 13th floor and I was scared and ran away,” said a bystander near the building.

The floors below the site of the plane crash have been damaged,an official said,adding that the window panes of the adjacent buildings have also broken.

However,no damage has been caused to the computer data banks of the Department of Inland Revenue,said Ranjith Siyambalapitiya,Minister for State Revenue.

Both the LTTE aircraft,with the “Sky Tigers” painted in army fatigue colour were shot down after unabated firing by anti-aircraft gun and machine guns.

The timely activation of the air defence system in Colombo thwarted the Tamil Tiger air raid in the city,averting a major disaster,the Sri Lankan Air Force said on Saturday.

A team of experts has been formed to evaluate the damage to the revenue building caused by the crash.

Meanwhile,Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday assured the UN’s humanitarian chief of all efforts to get the conflict-hit Tamil civilians in the north rehabilitated to safe areas,as the latter expressed concern over the plight of thousands of people trapped in war zone.

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