Jamshedpur, March 20: In a shocking incident, a single-seater fighter plane of the Air Force Station, Kalaikunda in West Midnapore crashed at the Subernarekha river near Mohuldangri village in Baharagora block of East Singhbhum, district, around 100 km from city on Tuesday afternoon.
According to information the IAF pilot opted to jump from the plane after it caught fire following a technical snag. Pilot Arbind Joshi (30), opted for ejection from the single-seater plane, a hawk training aircraft, using a parachute after it developed technical snag and caught fire. Considering the seriousness of the situation he jumped from the plane.
“We are investigating the incident. As per information gathered so far, the incident took place under Baharagora police station around 12.30 noon. We have got information that the pilot identified as Arbind Joshi, opted for ejection from the single-seater plane, possibly a hawk training aircraft, using a parachute after it developed technical snag and caught fire mid-air. The pilot who sustained injury while landing was given primary treatment before IAF rescue helicopter reached the spot and took the injured pilot to Kalaikunda,” said Anoop Birtharay East Singhbhum SSP Anoop Birtharay.
As the news spread Ghatshila SDM, Arvind Kumar Lal, rushed to the spot. He said that the incident is being investigated and added that pilot’s sensible decision prevented casualty in the villages.
“The news spread like wildfire and villagers in large number rushed to spot to see the plane. They were curious but thanked for the pilot for averting a major mishap,” said a local villager.
BJP former state president Dineshanand Goswami who was also present at the spot of the mishap, said that the wreckages of the planes had submerged in the river.
“The wreckages of the aircraft have submerged in the river. I think the pilot took a very good decision of taking the aircraft to the river despite fire catching up mid-air. Villagers said that even portion of the parachute had also caught fire,” said Goswami.
Earlier on June 3, 2015, similar incident took place when a Hawk Advance Jet Trainer of the Indian Air Force(IAF) crashed near Baharagora border, in the East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, around 50 km West of Kalaikunda air base in West Bengal. In the incident two pilots suffered injuries but were ejected safely. Aircraft caught fire which was later contained and the two pilots were traced to a place about two to three km away from the accident site. Both were found injured.
In another incident On May 8, 2015, a MiG 27 aircraft had crashed near Alipurduar town in West Bengal following a technical problem.