Chamarajanagar, June 1
A Kiran trainer aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in an open field at a village in the district on Thursday but the two pilots made it out safely after ejecting from the plane before the crash.
The training aircraft, which took off from the air force station in Bengaluru, crashed this morning at Bhogapura village.
It was good fortune that aircraft hit the ground on barren land and not in the nearby village, a villager said, adding it would have been catastrophic if the plane had crashed into the village.
District officials said the pilots, identified only as Tejpal and Bhumika, sustained minor injuries. No casualties were reported.
According to the IAF, the pilots were on a routine training sortie when the incident occurred. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of accident.
"A Kiran trainer aircraft of the IAF crashed near Chamrajnagar, Karnataka today, while on a routine training sortie. Both air crew ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," the IAF tweeted.
Senior district officials and an IAF team reached the spot along with the fire and emergency services personnel.
As soon as the plane crashed with a loud noise, villagers rushed to the spot and found the mangled aircraft engulfed in flames and billowing smoke.
Besides alerting the local police and the fire brigade, they also rushed to the spot where the two pilots were seen ejecting and coming down with the help of parachute.
Villagers noticed the two pilots lying on the ground. Quickly, they created a temporary shed for them.
Police officials rushed to the spot, cordoned off the area and put up a makeshift tent for the injured pilots.
The district officials in turn informed the IAF authorities in Bengaluru who then rushed to the spot in a special helicopter and airlifted the two injured pilots.
According to the Additional Deputy Commissioner of the District Katyayani Devi, one of the pilots sustained injuries in the spine while the other injured her mouth.
"The IAF helicopter has airlifted the two pilots to Bengaluru," she added.
Panchayat Development Officer Rame Gowda said he was in the office when he heard a blast.
"After hearing the sound, I came out and enquired. I got to know that an IAF aircraft had crashed. I rushed to the spot and saw the crashed aircraft in flames. I informed the police and the fire and emergency services department about the incident," Gowda told reporters.
According to the Chief Fire Officer of Mysuru P S Jayaramaiah, a senior fire brigade officer, a man by the name Mahesh Prithvi informed them about the crash at about 12.05 pm and soon various teams were rushed to the spot.
An eyewitness said when they offered assistance to the pilots, they said they have informed the IAF station along with sharing the GPS location of the crash site to them.
Two days ago a Redbird Training Aircraft made an emergency landing in an agriculture field soon after taking off from Sambra airport in Belagavi. The pilots escaped with minor injuries.
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