A Jaguar aircraft of Indian Air Force crashed on an empty plot in a village in Naini area of Allahabad Tuesday morning during a training sortie even as both the pilots ejected safely, in second such incident this year.
A defence spokesperson said the aircraft took off for a routine sortie from the Bamrauli Air Force Station here at 7.25am and crashed at 8.47am on an empty plot amid houses at Mundi Chak village in Chaka block of the district. The crash site is close to a Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouse, about 15 kms from Allahabad, the spokesperson said. There was no report of any casualty or serious injury. The aircraft, however, damaged the railing of the roof of a single-storeyed house before hitting the ground.
A court of inquiry has been ordered into the incident.
Superintendent of Police (trans-Yamuna), Ashutosh Mishra, said a huge fire broke out as soon as the aircraft hit the ground.
“Fire brigade was pressed into service and it took nearly an hour to douse the flames. As per the IAF officials who reached at the spot, the pilots, after sensing some problem, tried their best to avoid the inhabited area. Luckily, the aircraft fell on an empty plot. A portion of a house has, however, been damaged,” Mishra said.
Defence PRO Group Captain B B Pande told PTI over phone that the aircraft had taken off from the Civil Aviation Centre at IAF’s Central Air Command at Bamrauli on the outskirts of the city for a “routine training exercise”.
Meanwhile, Ramesh Yadav, a peon in the Railways, whose house was hit by the falling aircraft, said, he was not present there when the crash took place but was informed by his nephew Bulbul Yadav. “All the window panes and the doors of our house shattered under the impact of the fall. The house is not fit for living,” Yadav said, adding he has informed the authorities about the damage.
“There was a loud bang and debris were scattered over the roofs of several houses. A tin shed fell down and one person was injured,” said Bulbul, who’s house was located barely 50 metres away from the crash site on the FCI Road.
Brijendra Gupta, owner of a building material supply shop, a couple of houses from that of Bulbul’s, sustained a cut in his left leg and some injury in his arms, as debris hit him.
“The aircraft crashed the empty plot which had houses located all around. Had it even fallen on any of the houses, a number of people could have died,” said Gupta.
Earlier, in March, another Jaguar aircraft had crashed in agricultural fields near Shahbad town in Haryana with the pilot ejecting safely from the plane.