Following the crash of the Indian Air Force aircraft at the HAL airport near Yemalur, the public broke the wall at the crash site and tried saving the injured pilots.
Residents and eyewitnesses said as soon as they noticed the crash, they rushed to the site in an effort to save the pilots. Two pilots tragically died when the Mirage 2000 plane crashed on Friday around 10.30 am.
“I was having tea with a group of friends closer to the crash site,” said Babu, an eyewitness. “We suddenly heard an intense sound and saw three parachutes descending from the sky. It looked like they fell into the fire. By the time we entered the place, one pilot was charred to death and the other person had 30% burns. We took him to hospital, but unfortunately, we lost him, too.”
He added: “Fire engines and the police hit the spot later and doused the flames.”
Another eyewitness, Karthik Kumar, said: “I was only a few meters away from the spot. I could see parts of the machine strewn all over the road and witnessed flames and black smoke bellowing from the place. It wasn’t immediately clear what was happening. We were a bunch of people trying to save the pilots without success.”
Traffic jam at HAL
The crash triggered a massive traffic jam that paralysed Varthur Kodi, HAL Old Airport Road and beyond. Since the crash took place at 10.30 am, which was during the peak hour, hundreds of vehicles were stranded for more than two hours.
Corporate professionals and domestic workers wanting to reach their workplaces by 10.30 am and residents in HAL were distressed by the traffic jam.
Parvathi, a domestic worker, was unaware of the crash. “I wasn’t aware of it. But when I got to HAL, people spoke about it. I was stuck in the traffic jam for nearly an hour,” she said.
A traffic police officer at the HAL junction said commuters had to wait for more than an hour, which was a greater ordeal than what they experience daily. “The traffic was clear by the afternoon,” he said. “No alternative routes were assigned for the vehicles since the traffic jam lasted for a short period.”