Residents saw plane sway in the sky - before crashing

"We were gathered outside our homes (in Roshan Nagar) at night waiting for our menfolk to return home when we saw this plane, flying low and in a wobbly manner," said a witness, Ranjana Jha.

Jha, who works as a domestic maid in New Delhi, said her neighbour remarked after seeing the plane: "Mujhe lagta hai yeh to girne wala hai." (I think it is going to fall.)

"And that is what happened," Jha told IANS in this suburb near the Indian capital.

"Suddenly we saw this plane plunge down rapidly... But we did not actually see it crash. We knew something had gone wrong, but we didn't know what happened."

Jha said she and her neighbours didn't hear the plane fall as a storm was under way, throwing up distance and reducing visibility. The accident took place in a crowded part of adjoining New Faridabad.

All seven people on board and three people on the ground were killed in the disaster. The plane was carrying a critically ill patient from Patna to Delhi's Apollo Hospital, which had chartered the air ambulance.

Jha said her area, Roshan Nagar, fell directly under the flight path leading to Indira Gandhi International Airport in neighbouring New Delhi.

"The sky above our homes is almost like a road," she said. "Planes keep flying all the time. Sometimes they fly so slow that we can actually read the registration number of the planes from the ground."

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