An 11-seater plane carrying 10 BSF officers, including seven technicians, crashed near Dwarka in Delhi at 9.40 am Tuesday, killing everyone on board. Officials said a technical snag in the plane prompted the pilot to turn back towards the airport after taking off, but the plane hit a tree and crashed.
The plane was taking technicians from Palam Airport to Ranchi to repair a Mi-17 V5 helicopter stationed there. The plane had been inducted into the force in 1995. It was the same plane which ferried officials for the recently concluded conference of DGs in Rann of Kutch.
Pained by the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.
Officials said that on noticing the technical snag, the pilot, Captain Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt, and co-pilot, Captain Rajesh Shivrain, asked the air traffic control (ATC) at IGI Airport if they could perform an emergency landing. After getting clearance to land on runway number 10, the plane turned around, but hit a tree. It then skidded on the road before crashing into a sewerage treatment plant at IGI.
According to officials, after the plane took off and reached 1,700 feet, it lost contact with the ATC, which typically takes over once the plane is airbound. “After gaining altitude, the plane lost contact with the ATC and tried to make an emergency landing. The ATC diverted several flights as the BSF aircraft was looking to land,” said a BSF officer.
People at the scene said they heard a loud explosion and saw smoke coming out of the sewage treatment plant. At least 21 fire tenders took two hours to douse the flames.
Arvind Aherwal, a worker at the plant, said, “It felt like a bomb blast with flames around 100-feet high.”
He said five labourers were working at the spot where the plane crashed. “We were making cement slabs to cover drains. The plane hit a water tank, but we were unhurt. However, pieces of metal hit my parents,” he said, adding that they were taken to a hospital for treatment.
Another eyewitness, who works as a security guard nearby, said he saw two charred bodies at the crash site. “The other bodies were inside the water tank at the plant,” he said.
According to BSF PRO V N Parasar, 10 people died in the crash, including Captain Bhatt, captain Shivrain and Deputy Commandant Dilip Kumar.
A case under Sections 304A, 336 and 337 has been registered at IGI police station.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Lt Gov Najeeb Jung, AAP minister Satyendar Jain as well as senior BSF, SSB and Delhi Police officials visited the spot to take stock of the situation.