A total of three civilians were killed after the wreckage of the Indian Air Force MiG-21 aircraft fell on a house in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh district on Monday morning, the IAF said today.
The aircraft had taken off from the Suratgarh airbase for a routine exercise when it crashed near Bahlol Nagar in Rajasthan’s Hanumangarh due to an “onboard emergency.” The mishap took place at around 9.25 am.
“Soon after the take-off, the pilot experienced an onboard emergency, following which he attempted to recover the aircraft as per existing procedures. Having failed to do so, he initiated an ejection, sustaining minor injuries in the process. The pilot was recovered from about 25 kilometres North East of Suratgarh’s base,” IAF said in the statement.
“The aircraft wreckage fell on a house in Bahlol Nagar in Hanumangarh District, unfortunately leading to the loss of three lives. The IAF regrets the loss of lives and offers its deepest condolences to the bereaved families,” it added.
The Indian Air Force has ordered a court of inquiry to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The MiG-21 fleet is on its last leg and all the remaining three aircraft from the fleet are planned to be poached out by 2025.
Earlier in January, one pilot lost his life after two IAF fighter jets – a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage 2000 – crashed during a training exercise.
While one aircraft crashed in Morena in Madhya Pradesh, the other crashed and landed in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur.