Sukhoi jet catches fire, crashes in Maharashtra

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Nashik (Maharashtra), June 27 (IANS) A Sukhoi Su-30 MKI fighter jet engine caught fire mid-air and crashed on the outskirts of Nashik while on a test sortie but both pilots on board are safe, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred around 10.50 a.m. when the jet, manufactured by the HAL, hurtled down in a cloud of smoke and crashed with a bang in barren fields near the Wavi-Thushi village, around 30 km from here. The site is around 10 km away from the Ojhar airfield.

The aircraft was destroyed completely.

According to a statement from the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the aircraft was undergoing a routine production sortie when it developed severe engine vibrations and the engine caught fire.

Both the pilots — Wing Commander Prashant Nair, who has flown all HAL’s Brahmos sorties, and Wing Commander L. Biswal — managed to eject safely.

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They were on deputation to the HAL which is constructing these sophisticated multi-role aircraft under licence from Russia.

Top officials from HAL, military and air force were at the crash site for investigations even as police experienced a tough time controlling a huge crowd of onlookers rushing to the crash site and clicking selfies.

–IANS

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