Five persons, including a passerby, were killed when a chartered aircraft crashed at a construction site in Ghatkopar, Mumbai. The crash took place near Sarvodaya Hospital. There were four people in the aircraft — two pilots and two aircraft maintenance engineers. All four have been killed in the crash and their bodies have been taken to Rajawadi Hospital.
Two other people, who suffered injuries, have been rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, the investigators recovered the black box from the crash site. However, officials said that the bodies were “charred and beyond recognition.”
A senior DGCA official said: “UY Aviation Pvt Ltd King Air C-90 aircraft VT-UPZ has met with an accident at Mumbai. Operator bought this aircraft from the Uttar Pradesh government. The aircraft took off from Juhu airport for a test flight. There were two pilots and two Aviation Maintenance Engineers on board. All on board aircraft along with one person on the ground are dead. Those on board were board were Capt PS Rajput, Co pilot Maria Zuberi, AME Surbhi and aircraft technician Manish Pandey. The accident site is Ghatkopar, Mumbai. A DGCA team is on its way for a preliminary investigation. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) will do a detailed investigation.”
The incident could have been averted. Maria had told me that the flight won’t be flown due to bad weather. The aviation company is responsible for this unfortunate incident: P Kuthariya, Husband of pilot killed in chartered plane crash in Mumbai earlier today pic.twitter.com/1i1TwDA7Yx
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
According to sources in the Mumbai Police, the aircraft was undergoing repairs and maintenance work for the past one year. It was recently certified fit to fly, today morning it took its first test flight post the repairs.
Speaking to reporters, Prapti Pednekar, a resident in the area, had said: “there is a lot of smoke and no clarity on how many people are inside. The passerby who died when the aircraft crashed was taken away in an ambulance.” Another eyewitness said he heard two loud crashes and then saw a huge ball of fire. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has been pressed into service. Four people on board the crashed aircraft were Capt P S Rajput
Co-pilot Maria Zuberi, AME Surbhi and aircraft technician Manish Pandey. While the Capt Rajput is from Delhi, Co-Pilot Zuber was resident of Mira Road in Mumbai.
A senior police official said,” As this was an under construction site, we are still trying to find trapped victims. Also, the search for the black box is on.”
Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu expressed deep shock over the crash the aircraft in Mumbai. “The minister has directed the concerned officials to rush to the accident spot in Ghatkopar area of Mumbai and provide all possible help and assistance. DGCA has been asked to conduct an investigation into the plane crash,” a Civil Aviation ministry spokesperson said.
Responding to the crash, UY Aviation said, “The pilot and the co pilot were our employees and both have great flying experience. The pilot has flown over 5000 hours while the copilot used to fly with Jet Airways before. The engineers were from Indamer Aviation Limited. We are in touch with the family and also with DGCA and the local police. Our team is on the site. The flight has been in operation for the last 22 years and recently procured by us. It was with Indamer for maintenance and we took it on test flight today as we were to start operations soon. The flight was in air for an hour and was just about to land at Juhu when the accident occured.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines