Three people were injured when a Sukhoi aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed near Barmer on Wednesday afternoon, district officials said. “A Sukhoi aircraft of Indian Air Force crashed near Barmer while on a routine training sortie. Both pilots ejected safely,” said Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha. “The incident happened around 2 pm. Apparently after developing some technical snag, the aircraft crash landed, hitting the roof of one house on its way and crashing into at least two more houses while disintegrating. Two of the three houses had extensive damage,” Barmer District Collector Sudhir Kumar Sharma said.
ASP Rameshwar Lal said that the aircraft crashed at Devaniyon ki Dhani in Shivkar village under Sadar police station. “Only three persons sustained non-threatening injuries. Narayan Ram, his wife Dalli and their grandson Hanuman Ram suffered minor burns. They were taken to hospital and will be discharged soon,” Sharma said. Meanwhile, locals rushed to click selfies with the two pilots.
The area was cordoned off by Army officials who are assessing the damage. “Electricity poles were damaged in the crash and power will be restored in the hamlet by Thursday,” Sharma said. At least two motorcycles were damaged in the crash, which took place about 18 km from the district headquarters, the Collector added. Expressing her concern, Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje tweeted, “News of Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft crash in Barmer is extremely unfortunate. Prayers for speedy recovery of injured. Glad the pilots are safe.” A court of inquiry has been ordered in the crash.