Sukhoi fighter jet crashes in Pune

Sukhoi fighter jet crashes in Pune

Two pilots safe after baling out of plane that developed snag

Indian Air Force personnel inspect the wreckage of a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft that crashed at Wadegaon near Pune on Tuesday. AP

Talking to Deccan Herald, a defence official said the plane crashed in the flying area of the Lohegaon IAF base around 1.30 pm. No civilian casualties or damage to the ground structures have been reported.

Contradicting media reports which said the plane crashed at Wad-Bholai village, 20 km from Pune, the official said: “The aircraft developed a snag inside the flying radius perimeter. The Lohegaon air base is located nearly 10 km deep inside Pune district and there are villages in the vicinity, but the debris of the crashed plane clearly indicates that it did not venture out from the specified gliding area.”

Defence officials in Mumbai, however, were unable to provide more details on the crash. Preliminary investigations indicate that “technical snag was probably the prime cause behind the crash,” they said.

The SU-30MKI interceptor jets are manufactured jointly by Russia’s Sukhoi and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited here. Incidentally, this is the third instance of a Sukhoi crash since its induction into IAF in 1997.

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