Indian military jets crash; 2 injured pilots found

NEW DELHI – Two Indian Air Force fighter jets crashed on Saturday in an apparent mid-air collision while on exercises around 300km south of the capital New Delhi, police at the crash site told Agence France-Presse.

“We have located the wreckage of one of the planes and found an injured pilot in the Pahadgarh forests,” officer Dharmender Gaur said. “The other plane has likely fallen further away from the site, and we have sent teams to locate it.”

The Xinhua news agency said the two planes – a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage-2000 – crashed in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh.

A local administrator in Madhya Pradesh, Mr Ankit Asthana, said two of the three crew members from one jet were rescued and rushed to hospital.

The status of the third crew member was not immediately clear, while no details were released on the crew of the second plane.

The crash is the latest in a string of aviation accidents involving India’s military air fleet. 

Five soldiers were killed in October when their helicopter crashed in Arunachal Pradesh state, near India’s militarised and disputed border with China.

It was the second military chopper crash in the state that month, coming weeks after a Cheetah helicopter came down near the town of Tawang, killing its pilot. 

India’s defence chief, General Bipin Rawat, was among 13 people killed when his Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter crashed while transporting him to an air force base in December 2021. AFP, XINHUA


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