Indian Air Force planes keep falling out of the sky, or crashing, this time into each other. And these did not involve MiG fighters.
Two IAF fighter jets – a Sukhoi Su-30 and a Mirage 2000 –crashed over Madhya Pradesh during a training exercise. While two pilots (of the Sukhoi jet) have been rescued, the other (of the Mirage) went missing and was later declared dead. The Su-30 had two pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot.
The air force has launched a probe to examine if a mid-air collision led to the crash.
Two pilots who are safe managed to eject and suffered serious injuries. They are now in hospital.
The jets had taken off from the Gwalior Air Force base. Videos from the scene, shot by locals in Morena, showed debris of the aircraft on the ground. Wreckage of the crashed aircraft was found in Bharatpur in Rajasthan and Morena in Madhya Pradesh.
Defence sources have been quoted in the media as saying: “IAF court of inquiry has been launched to establish whether there was a mid-air collision or not. The Su-30 had two pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot during the crash. Initial reports suggest two pilots are safe while an IAF chopper reaching the location of the third pilot soon.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been briefed by Indian Air Force chief on the crash. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet, “The news of the crash of Sukhoi-30 and Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Air Force near Kolaras in Morena is very sad. I have instructed the local administration to cooperate with the Air Force in quick rescue and relief work. I pray to God that the pilots of the planes are safe.”