Two Indian fighter jets crash after midair collision

One pilot killed, another injured as Sukhoi-30 and Mirage 2000 aircraft come down in Madhya Pradesh: A chartered aircraft also crashes in Rajasthan

By: News Desk
Published: 12:50 PM, 28 Jan, 2023
Two Indian fighter jets crash after midair collision
Caption: Videograb of the crash site in Madhya Pradesh.
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Two Indian Air Force fighter jets have crashed in an apparent mid-air collision while on exercises around 300 kilometres south of the capital New Delhi on Saturday.

"We have located the wreckage of one of the planes and found a pilot dead while the other injured in the Parhadgarh forests," police officer Dharmender Gaur told AFP.

"The other plane has likely fallen further away from the site and we have sent teams to locate it."

A Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage 2000 crashed in Madhya Pradesh not far from Morena. Indian news agency ANI reported that search and rescue operations have started.

The Su-30 was carrying two pilots and the Mirage jet had one on takeoff, according to the report.

The aircraft departed from the Indian Air Force's base in Gwalior on a routine sortie. Both pilots are still alive and being treated. The two aircraft had collided in the air, according to information from the ground. 

Videos from the accident scene showed the aeroplane wreckage with evidence of fires and blood everywhere, as well as the remains of the seriously hurt pilots. However, it has been claimed that both pilots are still alive and receiving medical care.

"I have instructed the local administration to cooperate with the air force in quick rescue and relief work," Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted. "I pray to God that the pilots of the planes are safe."

Another plane crashes in Rajasthan

A chartered plane crashed due to a suspected technical snag in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur on Saturday. Police and local administration are present at the spot. According to the District Collector Alok Ranjan, “Police and local administration are at the spot to assess the situation.

Superintendent of Police Shyam Singh said the aircraft crashed in an open field in the Ucchain area of the city.

Horrific history

The crashes are the latest in a string of aviation accidents involving India's military air fleet.

Five army soldiers were killed last October when their helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh state, near the country's militarised and disputed border with China.

It was the second military chopper crash in the state that month, coming weeks after a Cheetah helicopter came down near the town of Tawang, killing its pilot.

India's defence chief, General Bipin Rawat, was among 13 people killed when his Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed while transporting him to an air force base in December 2021.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is grappling with the urgent task of overhauling India's outdated armed forces.

Its military establishment is fretting over a growing assertiveness by China along its vast Himalayan frontier, which in 2019 sparked a lingering diplomatic freeze after a deadly high-altitude confrontation between troops of both countries.

India unveiled its first locally built aircraft carrier last year as part of government efforts to build an indigenous defence industry and reduce reliance on Russia, historically its most important arms supplier.

An effort to reform military recruitment to trim down India's bloated defence payroll stalled last year after a backlash from aspiring soldiers, who burned train carriages and clashed with police in fierce protests.

Categories : South Asia