M A I N   N E W S

MiG-21 crashes near Rajpura, pilot safe
Umesh Dewan & Aman Sood
Tribune News Service

Shambhu (Rajpura/Patiala), September 6
In a miraculous escape, a young Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot sustained minor injuries after a MiG-21 combat aircraft crashed into a farm land, almost 100 metres away from Shambhu toll barrier, Rajpura, today morning.

The pilot who sustained injuries has been identified as Flight Lieutenant Aurnab Ghosh. The mishap took place at least 30 km away from densely populated city areas, and thus, no loss of life or property is reported. According to information, the aircraft pilot was in touch with the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) and it was just seconds before the crash that Ghosh ejected himself from the aircraft.

A visit to the site revealed that crops spread across half an acre of the farm land were destroyed owing to the crash. According to reports, the crash took place around 10.47 am and there was no loss of life. At the time of filing of this report, black box was yet to be recovered. According to reports, on account of a routine training sortie, Ghosh took off in the MiG-21 Bison, bearing number CV/2189, from the Ambala air force base today morning.

“At about 10.47 am, the aircraft crashed into farms near National Highway number 1, Rajpura. The impact of the collision was such that the wreckage of the aircraft created a deep crater,” said an eyewitness. Residents of villages situated near the site of the mishap said the impact of the collision was massive and the sound of a blast was heard in several nearby villages.

Following the mishap, police officers, along with IAF officials, reached the site and cordoned off the area. SP Rajpura Manmohan Sharma said the aircraft crashed into agricultural fields and there was no loss of life and property, though there was some damage to crops. “We are in touch with IAF officials. They are looking for the black box to ascertain the reasons behind the crash,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking to TNS, Iqbal Singh, resident of a nearby village, who was present at the spot when the mishap took place, said he heard a loud sound and spotted an aircraft heading towards the fields. “I sighted a parachute heading downwards. The pilot got entangled in electricity wires and I helped him touch base. In no time, the aircraft hit the ground and caught fire,” he added.


Senior IAF officials went to the spot to carry out investigation. "We cannot disclose to you the nature of the accident but the pilot is safe and recuperating at IAF Hospital, Ambala. The air force has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident," said an IAF spokesperson, speaking to The Tribune.





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