New Delhi: A Border Security Force (BSF) aircraft crashed near Dwarka in Delhi on Tuesday, killing all 10 people on board.
The plane burst into flames just outside the Indira Gandhi International Airport here shortly after take-off.
Aviation sources said the accident at Bagdola village near Sector-8 Dwarka happened at around 9:50 am when the twin-engine Superking plane crashed into the airport boundary wall near a railway track and landed in a sewage treatment plant while returning back apparently due to a technical problem five minutes after it took off for Ranchi.
The aircraft lost contact with the Air Traffic Control at 9:50 am, they said.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma has ordered a probe into the incident.
"It is unfortunate that all 10 people including the pilots have died in the crash," Sharma said. There were two pilots on board.
"It is a matter of probe what led to the crash. We can only tell after the inquiry what were the reasons or lapses resulted in this incident," he added.
After briefing Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the crash, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh rushed to the crash site to take stock of the situation. Delhi's Lt Governor Najeeb Jung also visited the site.
The Prime Minister, meanwhile, expressed grief over the death of 10 BSF personnel.
Pained by the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 22, 2015
BSF sources said the technicians were on their way to Ranchi to repair a helicopter.
Police said six bodies have been recovered from the crash site.
Eyewitnesses said the plane hit a wall outside the technical area of the airport before bursting into flames and then crashed into a water body.
"We saw a plane spiralling down which crashed near the wall where work was going on. I could spot one body. A labourer who was working was also injured," an eye witness Suraj said.
The area was engulfed in dense smoke and fire with pieces of aircraft spread around.
Fifteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
The DG-level talks between India and Bangladesh scheduled today in Dhaka have been cancelled in the wake of the crash, according to BSF sources.
The 10 on board the ill-fated aircraft comprised the pilot, who was a second-in-command rank officer of SIB, the co-pilot, who is a Deputy Commandent, six technicians, one engineer and one crew member.
Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said authorities were in the process of setting up a Committee of Inquiry to probe the mishap.
"We are trying to identify a pilot who has flown the type of aircraft that has crashed," he said.
The bodies of all the 10 paramilitary personnel have been sent for post-mortem at the Safdarjung Hospital. While three bodies were found just outside a water tank in a completely charred condition, the rest were pulled out of the water tank.
The victims were identified as chief pilot of the aircraft and Deputy Commandant Bhagwati Prasad Bhatt of BSF, Rajesh Shivrain- second-in-command of paramilitary SSB and co-pilot of the ill-fated flight, Deputy Commandant D Kumar, Inspector Raghvendra Kumar Yadav, Inspector SN Sharma, Sub-Inspectors Ravindra Kumar, Surendra Singh, CL Sharma, ASI DP Chauhan and Constable KR Rawat.
The 11-seater aircraft was inducted during 1994-95 in the BSF, a force spokesperson said.
Chiefs of BSF and SSB, DK Pathak and BD Sharma, have rushed to the site.
President Pranab Mukherjee said he was sad to learn about the deaths. "My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families."
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the disaster was "extremely unfortunate" and expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi also expressed grief.