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Indian Jet hits building: 8 dead

The Truth

TRIBE Member

India Jet Hits Building; 8 Dead
Fri May 3,11:21 AM ET
By DEEPAK SHARMA, Associated Press Writer

JULLUNDUR, India (AP) - An Indian air force jet on routine frontier patrol crashed into a bank building in northwestern India on Friday, starting a fire that killed at least eight people and injured 19, police and hospital officials said.

The pilot, who survived, reported that the Soviet-made MiG-21 had suffered engine failure, Air Force Chief S. Krishnaswamy said in New Delhi. India's aging MiG fleet is prone to crashes, with 100 in the last six years, killing 50 pilots.

"I saw the fighter jet roll over a couple of times before it hurtled down," said Sunil Malhotra, a software programmer who was standing on the balcony of his house. "I saw a blast in the sky and within 20 seconds, the plane fell. I saw the pilot and co-pilot parachuting down."

The rear portion of the plane burned up, Malhotra said, and the front crashed into the two-story building in the Basti Adda neighborhood of Jullundurbank building, with parts hitting other buildings.

The bank building, an adjacent plywood warehouse and a commercial building containing shops caught fire.

The pilot, S.K. Naik, and the co-pilot were hospitalized, but the extent of their injuries was not released.

Jullundur's senior police superintendent, Paramjit Singh Gill, said he counted seven burned bodies before sending them to the government hospital for post-mortem examinations. One victim died later at the hospital.

Five of the eight dead were bank employees, said Dr. Amarjit Singh, the hospital chief. Of the 19 injured, five were in intensive care and eight had been transferred to the state's best hospital, in Ludhiana, 30 miles to the south.

The fighter jet had taken off from the nearby Adampur air force base and was on a routine flight when it crashed, said P.K. Bandhopadhyaya, the Defense Ministry's spokesman in New Delhi.

The building it hit houses shops and a branch of the Bank of Rajasthan.

The fire was fueled by stored plywood in the bank building and the warehouse next door. It was almost out six hours after the crash, and soldiers and police began to search for survivors and dead bodies.

The air force grounded all MiG-21s used for training to conduct mechanical checks. Patrol flights were not suspended.

Several witnesses said fire engines were delayed or had trouble getting water when they arrived. Malhotra said one fire truck broke down as it neared the site and bystanders had to push it. Army fire trucks arrived to help the ill-equipped civilian force.

Among those being treated for burn injuries in Jullundur was traffic constable Jaspal Singh, who said he and another policeman broke a wall of the bank to pull people out. "There was a lot of smoke. I was injured while trying to save some of the people in the bank," Singh said.

Jullundur (pronounced Ja-LEN-der) is 45 miles southwest of Amritsar in Punjab state. The town is 60 miles from the Pakistani border, where hundreds of thousands of Indian and Pakistani armed forces have been deployed because of recent friction between the countries. Patrol flights by India's aging MiG-21s occur daily.


TRIBE Member
i remember reading a year or two back, that at the current rate of aviation expansion with the current trends in airplane crashes for whatever reason, that by 2020 there will be an airplane crashing every single day. unless major overhauls of maintenance programs were implemented.

RIP to the victims :(
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TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Evil Dynovac
100 crashes in six years?!?!?

What's the opposite of Top Gun?

Bottom... Paddle?


LOL... i was thinking the exact same thing... the pilots that actually agree to fly those things must have a death wish...