An Indian Air Force MiG-27 fighter jet, which took off from the IAF Jodhpur airbase, crashed in Rajasthan’s Banad while on a routine mission on Tuesday. The pilot was ejected safely, according to defence spokesperson Colonel Sombit Ghosh.
A court of inquiry has been set up to ascertain the cause of the crash, the Colonel said.
"A MiG-27 aircraft airborne from Jodhpur crashed during a routine mission today morning. The pilot ejected safely. A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the incident," Ghosh was quoted as saying in PTI.
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No loss of lives or property damage was reported in the crash, said Deputy Commissioner, Jodhpur, Amandeep Singh.
On hearing the news, the local police and army personnel rushed to the spot with medical help, as per reports. Fire tenders also rushed to the spot where the IAF plane crashed. Police have now cordoned off the area. The incident occurred in Dangyawas police station area, Singh said.
Meanwhile, the IAF investigating team also reached the spot.
According to PTI, eyewitnesses said that they saw two fighter jets flying together, but one of them suddenly took a turn towards the open field and crashed near Devalia village in Banad area.
"Two fighter jets were flying together, but suddenly one of them changed its course and took a turn towards the open area and crashed. We saw the pilot ejecting and he parachuted in to the agriculture field... We believe the pilot turned the aircraft towards the field in order to avoid the crash in a populated area," Sunil Bishnoi, one of the eyewitnesses, said.
Another eyewitness, Omprakash, said that he saw smoke emanating from the aircraft before it crashed.
The IAF’s MiG-27 crash comes after a series of crashes. On June 8, an IAF’s ‘Jaguar’ met with a minor accident as it developed a snag while landing. On June 5, Air Commodore Sanjay Chauhan breathed his last following a crash in the Mundra Taluk region of Gujarat.
India has stopped flying of its MiG 27ML squadrons, while two Jodhpur-based planes are still in services with the upgraded MiG-27.
(With inputs from agencies)