Pilot dies; Inquiry ordered
A fighter plane (MIG-21) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed Tuesday in Sangam area of this South Kashmir district, killing its pilot. The IAF has initiated a Court of Inquiry (COI) into incident.
The plane crashed in an agriculture field at 10:50 am in Marhama village of Sangam, resulting in death of an IAF Squadron leader Raghu Bansi. “A pilot of IAF was killed after his MiG-21 crashed today at Marhama,” Army spokesperson Lt Col NN Joshi said.
“The MiG which had taken off from Srinagar’s Technical Air Base was on a routine sortie in the area when it crashed 10 kms short of Koil, Awantipora Air Base.”
The IAF officials along with Army and Police immediately rushed to the spot.
“The body of the pilot was retrieved from the debris and removed in a chopper,” Joshi said.
He said the plane caught fire before it crashed and exploded with a bang.
Eyewitnesses said the explosion triggered panic among the villagers who ran for safety. They said the pilot had evicted moments before the plane crash but his parachute came in contact with a 320 KV HT wire resulting in his death. However, officials said, they are still trying to ascertain the “all the facts.”
“A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident,” the Army statement read.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed his condolence to the bereaved family. Soon after the incident Omar tweeted: “Not entirely disconnected from today’s crash the new Govt needs to sort (out) defense procurement issue for Navy, Air force and Army ASAP.”