Monday, August 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bird-hit led to crash
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Aug 6 — The black box of a MiG-21 that crashed in New Delhi yesterday has confirmed suspicions of a bird-hit causing the accident, rather than any snag in the plane as was reportedly being made out to be.

This was stated here today by Air Marshal S. Krishnaswamy, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Western Air Command, while talking to reporters after the cremation of Flt Lt S.C. Shukla, who died in yesterday’s crash.

He said a big bird, possibly a vulture hit the aircraft at the crucial stage of take-off and ingested in the single engine of the MiG causing engine failure as revealed by the black box analysis.

He said though the statistics showed that MiG-21’s, which formed the largest component of the IAF, have had a large number of accidents, yesterday’s crash was due to a cause which could bring down any aircraft.

Air Marshal Krishnaswamy said it was wrong to conclude that the MiGs-21s were unsafe and such misinformation might shake the confidence of the pilots and their families.

He said that the responsibility for the safety of “our boys and children” was ours and we would not risk their lives by allowing them to fly aircraft which could be dangerous.

The Air Marshal said it took about 20 days to set the procedure of inquiry into the crash and afterwards information was analysed at different levels.

Commenting on Shukla, he said he was one of our most experienced and talented pilots.

The Air Marshal specially came from New Delhi to participate in the cremation of Shukla whose wife Supriya Shukla, is an IAF transport aircraft pilot.


1 dies in Naina Devi stampede
From Our Correspondent

BILASPUR, Aug 6 — Banto Devi (60) of Mandoli village in Patiala district of Punjab was killed and 50 other pilgrims were injured when a weak railing collapsed due to heavy rush of devotees at Naina Devi shrine, 75 km from here, today.

About 22 persons have been admitted to the Naina Devi Primary Health Centre while Balbinder Singh who suffered serious injuries was admitted to a regional hospital.

There was huge rush of pilgrims at the temple due to “shrawan ashtami” navaratra fair. 

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