Debate over precautions for air show

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Debate over precautions for air show

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Hyderabad:  A spectacular show in the sky that was meant to be the grand opening to the Civil Aviation Summit 2010. After this last loop and a rain of colour, the four Kiran aircraft, part of the Indian Navy's Sagar Pawan formation, were to land. As everyone watched, one aircraft failed to recover height and crashed into a 3-storey building in Bowenpally, a residential area near Hyderabad's Begumpet airport. Both pilots Commander S K Maurya and Rahul Nair were killed.

``The co-pilot tried to eject but I don't know if he had enough reaction time. Or the parachute did not open because it did not have sufficient height and he died right near the crash site. The pilot's body we found on top of the building where the aircraft crashed,'' said A K Khan, Police Commissioner, Hyderabad.

What eyewitnesses tell NDTV is that because the aircraft landed right into a water tank on top of the building, the fire was controlled. They say a woman and her son were inside, who eyewitnesses helped to safety.

``There was a big sound and we came. There was a mother and son. They jumped from the window and her leg was fractured. We moved her to safety,'' said an eyewitness.

All that was left of the aircraft were mangled remains from which investigators will now have to piece together what went wrong.

"I understand that in the final phase of the show, one of the aircrafts appears to have gone out of control and crashed into a building. The pilots have not ejected, so the possibility is that either time-wise they had a problem, or they were making all efforts to ensure that damage is minimized to any civil area there. But, they are no more," said Admiral Nirmal Verma, Navy Chief.

With the highly inflammable aviation turbine fuel splashed around the mishap site, the security personnel used this foamy liquid, the aqueous film forming foam, to form a protective layer and prevent further mishap.


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