IAF's Jaguar aircraft crashes in Haryana; pilot ejects safely
A Jaguar aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Thursday crashed in agricultural fields near Shahbad town with the pilot ejecting safely from the plane.
Kurukshetra/Ambala: A Jaguar aircraft of the Indian Air Force on Thursday crashed in agricultural fields near Shahbad town with the pilot ejecting safely from the plane.
The IAF has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
As per eyewitnesses, the aircraft narrowly missed a school building as it fell to the ground.
The fighter jet crashed near Landa-Landi village, 12 km from Shahbad in Kurukshetra district of Haryana at about 1.15 pm, police said, adding that there were no casualties or injuries at the site where the aircraft had crashed.
The spot where the aircraft crashed after taking off from the Ambala Air Force base lies along the Ambala-Kurukshetra border and is located about 65 km from Chandigarh.
According to Shahbad Station House Officer Ramesh Kumar, pilot of the jet, Flight Lieutenant Vivek Chaudhary, safely bailed out using a parachute just seconds before the plane crashed into the wheat fields.
The pilot, IAF sources said, sent an SOS message before ejecting.
The pilot sustained some injuries and was airlifted by an IAF helicopter within 20 minutes of the crash. Kumar said that the pilot was taken to Ambala Cantt Army hospital.
Besides the police, IAF and Army personnel from Ambala rushed to the spot immediately after the crash.
Flames leapt about and smoke billowed out of the aircraft after it crashed with the debris being scattered all over the fields.
Meanwhile, according to some eyewitness accounts, the plane swirled before falling to the ground.
Baljit Singh, owner of the agricultural field where the crash occurred, said he heard a loud noise and then saw a man drop towards the ground using a parachute, over a kilometre ahead of the crash site.
Baljit said that the plane narrowly missed hitting a building housing a private school standing just a short distance away from the crash site. He said that some schoolchildren were playing inside the campus when the aircraft fell to the ground.
Girish Kumar, who was working in the fields close to the crash site, too, said there was a "big blast" before the aircraft crashed.
(With Agency inputs)