Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Jun 3:
An Indian Air Force (IAF) advanced trainer aircraft crashed at Kudarsahi under Bisoi police limits in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district at about 1.30 pm today.
The two pilots on board the BAE Systems Hawk advanced trainer aircraft (A 3492), however, managed to eject before the plane crashed and went up in flames.
No loss of life or property has been reported in the crash, which took place in an agricultural field close to but away from human habitation.
“Both pilots in the aircraft, identified as Siddhant and Sachin managed to eject and crash-land with the help of parachutes. One of the two pilots, however, sustained injuries on his head during landing. He was first treated at the Bisoi hospital before being airlifted to the IAF base at Kaleikunda,” said Northern Range IG Asit Panigrahi.
“We have been informed that an expert team from the Defence ministry would reach the spot tonight. We have been told that the wreckage would be cleared by noon tomorrow,” Panigrahi said.
The aircraft took off from the Kaleikunda airbase of IAF in neighbouring West Bengal along with two other aircraft on a training sortie. Initial reports suggested that the crash was caused by ‘mechanical failure’, IAF sources said.
Senior IAF personnel from the base have rushed to the spot of the mishap. An IAF aircraft went back after doing an aerial survey of the crash site.
Fire brigade personnel from Bangiriposi rushed to the spot, barely 500 meters from the Bisoi police station and close to the National Highway, and put out the fire. But the aircraft was almost completely damaged by that time.
The crash site has been cordoned off and a large contingent of policemen deployed to keep at bay the crowd of hundreds of curious onlookers who have crowded the area.