In a tragic incident, all ten people on board a small Ranchi-bound BSF plane were killed when the aircraft crashed near Dwarka in South-east Delhi on Tuesday. The plane crashed and burst into flames just outside the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) shortly after the take-off. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed pain over the death of 10 people, while the civil aviation ministry has ordered a probe over the incident.
According to the aviation sources, the accident 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.
“It is unfortunate that all 10 people including the pilots have died in the crash,” Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said while speaking to the press at Parliament House.
“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,” the minister of civil aviation added.
According to the BSF, the ill-fated aircraft was carrying the technicians to Ranchi to repair a helicopter. Soon after the crash, DG-level talks between India and Bangladesh scheduled for Tuesday in Dhaka were called off.
“Pained by the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” he shared on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The eyewitnesses to the crash landing claimed that 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 sport one body. A labourer who was working was also injured,” one claimant eye witness identifying himself as Suraj said.
The area was engulfed in dense smoke and fire with pieces of aircraft spread around. Lending details of the fire-fighting operation, Delhi Fire Service chief AK Sharma said 15 tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
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.
“We are trying to identify a pilot who has flown the type of aircraft that has crashed,” Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said, adding that authorities are in the process of setting up a Committee of Inquiry to probe the mishap.
(With inputs from the PTI)