MiG 27 crashes in West Bengal, one dead (Second Lead)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SILIGURI/SHILLONG - A MiG 27 fighter aircraft crashed in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district Saturday morning, killing a civilian and injuring 10 others, an Indian Air Force (IAF) official said. The pilot ejected safely.

The accident occurred at around 11 a.m. when the aircraft, which had taken off from the Hashimara airbase at 10.30 a.m, crashed in Jorepukhri under Moinaguri police station.

Squadron Leader Saket Verma, the pilot, ejected safely, said Ranjib Sahoo, IAF spokesman at the Eastern Air Command headquarters in Shillong.

He said the pilot had flown from the Hashimara airbase on a routine sortie.

“The air force has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident,” Sahoo told IANS.

Hashimara is under administrative control of the Eastern Air Command, which has its headquarters in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.

Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) R. Kumar said one of the parts of the aircraft hit a house and killed a civilian. Ten people were injured after being hit by splinters of the plane, while one person is missing.

The aircraft had lost contact with the air traffic control at Hashimara before it crashed.

This is the fourth crash involving a MiG fighter plane this year.

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