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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Indian Air Force’s MiG-21 crashes

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Sept 6, IRNA -- A MiG-21 'Bison' fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force crashed Tuesday near Shambu in Punjab's Patiala district even as the pilot bailed out safely.

The plane was taking off from Ambala on a routine training sortie when it crashed, pti reported quoting an IAF spokesman said in Delhi.

According to preliminary information it crashed in the fields close to Shambu, about 30 kms from Chandigarh.

The pilot of the aircraft had ejected out before it crashed in paddy fields.

Police and fire brigade personnel have rushed to the site of the accident.

A court of inquiry has been ordered into the mishap.

Pilot Flt Lt Arunav Ghosh suffered minor injuries and was taken to Ambala in a helicopter. He has been admitted to the Army Cantt Hospital in Ambala.

'The plane crashed just 500 metres away from the Shambu toll barrier. Had it fallen on the highway, it could have caused casualties. It was a miraculous escape for many today and the pilot showed good presence of mind,' said the spokesman.

He added that a team of IAF officials was inspecting the crash spot.

Meanwhile, during 2008 to August 17, 2011, a total of 26 fighter planes of IAF had crashed. During the preceding three-year period of 2005 to 2008, some 20 IAF fighter planes have crashed.

The makes of these fighter planes were MiGs, Su-30 MKI and Jaguar. Six pilots were killed in these crashes.'

During the period, a maximum number of fighter jets crashed in 2009-10, when IAF lost a total of 10 planes, while two crashes have been reported this year till August.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30551067

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