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Five dead as chartered plane crashes in Mumbai; probe ordered

The Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-turboprop carrying four people crashed next to an under-construction building and the wreckage caught fire; reports say a passerby was among those killed

SNS | New Delhi |

Five people, including a passerby, were dead in an accident involving a chartered aircraft that crashed in Mumbai’s Ghatkopar area on Thursday afternoon.

Four on board who were killed have been identified as Pilot Capt PS Rajput, Co-pilot Maria Zuberi, AME Surbhi and aircraft technician Manish Pandey.

The local civic body identified the two injured as Lovkush Kumar (21) and Naresh Kumar Nishad (24).

The Beechcraft King Air C90 twin-turboprop crashed next to an under-construction building. After the crash, the wreckage caught fire and thick, black smoke was seen rising from the spot.

As per reports, the aircraft, registered as VT-UPZ King Air C90, was supposed to land in Juhu but it crashed near the Sarvodaya Hospital in Ghatkopar around 1.30pm, police said. Four people were reportedly on board at the time of the crash.

Fire and police officials are at the crash site. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also been pressed into service.

Eyewitnesses said the plane was seen hurtling down and crashed with a deafening roar before bursting into flames around 1.15 p.m.

Rescue officials who rushed to site said four bodies, whose identity was not clear, had been recovered from the smoking plane’s wreckage.

A passerby in the vicinity of the crash was burnt fatally when some burning fuel from the aircraft fell on him, said an eyewitness who was among the first to reach the spot.

As per preliminary information, the aircraft was on a test flight and had taken off from the Juhu Airport minutes before it crashed.

The cause of the crash is not known. It occurred in an under construction building premises, averting what could have been a major disaster.

The aircraft belongs to Mumbai-based UY Aviation Pvt Ltd and till 2014, it was owned by the Uttar Pradesh government, it is learnt.

Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau to conduct probe: DGCA
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau will conduct a detailed probe into a chartered plane crash in Mumbai today, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Thursday.
“The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau will conduct a detailed probe into the crash. A DGCA team is already on its way to the spot,” Director General of Civil Aviation BS Bhullar told PTI.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu also asked officials to rush to the spot to assist in the relief operations, an official in the ministry said. He said the minister also asked the investigation authorities to ascertain the cause of the crash.
(With inputs from agencies)