IAF pilot dead in possible mid-air collision of two fighter jets over MP's Morena
Morena (Madhya Pradesh) January 28: One pilot lost his life after two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets - a Sukhoi Su-30 and a Mirage 2000 - crashed during a training exercise earlier Saturday in Madhya Pradesh's Morena, officials said on Saturday.
Officials said body parts of one pilot had been retrieved while two other pilots in the Sukhoi who ejected from their plane were rescued and taken to the hospital in a helicopter. While one aircraft crashed in Morena in Madhya Pradesh, the other crashed and landed in Rajasthan's Bharatpur.
"The possible mid-air collision between the two aircraft took place when they were flying a simulated combat mission at very high speeds. More details would come out in the court of inquiry," defence sources said.
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The Sukhoi had two pilots, while the Mirage had one pilot, defence sources said. Both aircraft are used on the frontlines by the Indian Air Force. The two pilots on the Sukhoi managed to eject and were taken to the hospital in a helicopter. The Mirage pilot lost his life and his relatives have been informed about the incident.
"There was a fire reported by some people here and we also received information that parts of two jets -Mirage and Sukhoi- that had taken off from Gwalior were seen fallen down on the ground here. As per IAF, one aircraft had two pilots, while the other had one. Two pilots have been safely rescued, while the body parts of the third pilot have been found," Superintendent of Police, Morena, Ashutosh Bagree said from the site.
Speaking about wreckage of aircraft found in Rajasthan's Bharatpur, which was earlier reported to be from a charter plane, the SP Morena said details were being collected. Officials and local administration were present at the spot.
Defence sources said an IAF court of inquiry would establish whether the accident happened due to a mid-air collision.
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Sources said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was in touch with Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen Anil Chauhan and IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari to gather details 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."