An Indian Air Force (IAF) Jaguar fighter aircraft crashed at Beraja village near Mundra in Kutch district, killing the pilot. Air Commodore Sanjai Chauhan, who was on a routine training mission, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.
Defence spokesperson in Ahmedabad, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Ojha said that the fighter jet had taken off Jamnagar airbase for a routine training sortie on Tuesday morning but it crashed in Beraja village at around 10:30 am. The air commodore was flying the plane alone, he added.
“He was on a routine training mission when the plane crashed. No information on the cause of the crash is available as yet. A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate as to what led to the crash,” Ojha told The Indian Express.
Police said that the debris of the fighter jet fell in an open field about two kilometres away from Beraja village. “The burning debris of the plane landed in an open field away from the village. However, a few cows which were grazing in the area were burnt to death. A cattle-herder has also sustained minor injuries,” MS Bharada, superintendent of police of Kutch (west) told The Indian Express.
“We have cordoned off the crash site and teams of IAF have started reaching the spot. Search and rescue mission is still on,” he said.
The severity of the crash was such that it was difficult to ascertain from the debris whether the aircraft was a fighter jet or a helicopter, Bharada said. “The plane has been reduced to very small pieces of debris. Only a small part of the pilot’s mortal remains has been recovered so far,” he said.
Police said that a high-tension transmission line was also passing by the area where the debris of the plane landed. However, the line was not damaged, they added.