'A burning plane, then a thunderous crash' - all hell broke loose

Shocked residents of Parvatiya colony in Sector 22 here stared at the mangled remains of the aircraft that broke into three after crashing into the house at around 10.40 p.m. A couple of nearby houses also bore signs of damage.

Some people in Old Faridabad had seen the nine-seater chartered air ambulance sway dangerously in the sky amid a storm before it crashed some distance away in New Faridabad.

"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 adding that at that time a storm was underway. "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."
For a resident of Parvatiya colony, the accident was right in his backyard.

"As there was no power in the area, we were sitting outside. I saw a flash of light that was fast approaching. As I was about to call others I saw a plane coming down - it had already caught fire. It was like watching an action Hollywood movie," the witness said.
Another resident said: "It was really scary. We woke up to a thunderous sound and saw flames erupting outside our house. The crashed aircraft also damaged the grills of the boundary wall of our house.

"Fire engines reached the spot late as they faced difficulty coming through the narrow streets of our colony."

The plane was hired from Delhi-based Air Chartered Services India Pvt Ltd by Delhi's Apollo Hospital as an air ambulance. It was carrying a 20-year-old student, Rahul Raj, who was critically ill and was being shifted from Patna to Apollo Hospital.

He was among the seven who were on board and were killed. Three of those killed were residents of the house into which the plane crashed. The owner of the house is Shobha Ram.

He and his son are said to be safe but his wife, daughter and daughter-in-law who were sleeping in the verandah perished.

The wall of another house collapsed after it caught fire, while the fuel from the broken aircraft fell inside yet another damaged house.

Arjun Singh, another resident, said: "I saw a plane hovering in the sky and then it suddenly crashed. The petrol tank burst and there was fire all around. We tried to douse the fire and one of our friends got injured."

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