NEW DELHI, Jan 28: Indian Air Force’s two fighter planes — a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage 2000—crashed near Morena in Madhya Pradesh on Saturday, defence ministry sources said.
The Su-30 had two pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot, the sources said. Two pilots are said to be safe after they managed to eject. Search and rescue operations are underway for the third pilot.
Both the fighter jets had taken off from the Gwalior Air Force base. Videos from the scene, shot by locals in Morena, showed debris of the aircraft on the ground.
The Air Force has launched a probe to examine if a mid-air collision led to the crash. “IAF court of inquiry to establish whether there was a mid-air collision or not. The Su-30 had 2 pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot during the crash. Initial reports suggest 2 pilots are safe while an IAF chopper reaching the location of the third pilot soon,” sources said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been briefed by Indian Air Force chief on crash of two aircraft. The Minister enquired about the well-being of the IAF pilots and is monitoring the developments closely, the sources said.
The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet, “The news of the crash of Sukhoi-30 and Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Air Force near Kolaras in Morena is very sad. I have instructed the local administration to cooperate with the Air Force in quick rescue and relief work. I pray to God that the pilots of the planes are safe.”
Further details regarding the crash are awaited.