Two pilots of Sukhoi-30 have been rescued, while efforts are underway to locate the pilot of Mirage 2000.
Two fighter jets – a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage 2000 – crashed following a suspected mid-air collision during an aerial exercise in Morena district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning.
Two of the three pilots involved in the crash have been rescued and shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment. While Sukhoi-30 was being flown by two pilots, there was one pilot in Mirage 2000 at the time of the accident.
The pilot of Mirage 2000 is missing and efforts are underway to locate him, said a police officer. However, SDPO Sanjay Kauchha informed that the wreckage of Mirage 2000 is yet to be found.
“The crash took place at around 10 am,” the officer said.
Both fighter aircraft had taken off from the Air Force airbase in Gwalior for an exercise.
Authorities of the Air Force and district administration are present at the site of the crash in Pahargarh area of Morena.
According to eyewitnesses, the Sukhoi-30 caught fire mid-air and came down crashing in forest area near a railway station.
The Air Force has constituted a court of inquiry (CoI) to establish whether the accident was caused by a mid-air collision. It has dispatched a chopper for the search and rescue mission.
Meanwhile, defence minister Rajnath Singh has spoken to Air Force chief Vivek Ram Chaudhari to enquire about the crash. He is keeping a track of the accident, according to defence sources.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has instructed the local administration to cooperate with the Air Force for quick rescue and relief work.
“The news of the crash of Sukhoi-30 and Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Air Force near Kailaras in Morena is very sad. I have instructed the local administration to cooperate with the Air Force in quick rescue and relief work. I pray to God that the pilots of the planes are safe,” he said on Twitter.