A Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Wednesday crashed in Shivkar Kudla village in Rajasthan’s Barmer district, leaving three villagers injured.
Both the pilots ejected safely.
“The Sukhoi aircraft crashed near Barmer while on a routine training sortie.Both the pilots ejected safely,” Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Ojha said.
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident.
The Chetak is based on the 1950s’ design French helicopter. The IAF needs new helicopters. In February, Former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had put the need of the three services at some 800 copters over the next decade.
The plane was on a routine sortie and was about to land at the Uttarlai Air Force Base, at a village called Devaniyon ki Dhani, when the crash took place around 2 pm. The fuselage of the aircraft landed on the hut of Narayan Ram, injuring him, his daughter-in-law Dalli and grandson Hanuman. The three, who sustained burn injuries, have been admitted in hospital.
Omji Ujjawal, a police officer from the area who was the first to reach the spot, said Narayan Ram’s family suffered “burn injuries due to the explosion and cuts and bruises from the debris”.
Altogether, half-a-dozen houses in the village and two motorcycles were destroyed. The villagers said livestock also came to harm – a buffalo was burnt alive and some goats were injured.
The incident took place hours after a Chetak helicopter of the Indian Air Force crash landed in Uttar Pradesh, moments after it took off from an airbase on the outskirts of Allahabad this morning. No casualties have been reported, defence officials said.