New Delhi: A nine-seater chartered aircraft with seven people on board crashed into a densely-populated residential colony in Faridabad on Wednesday night, killing ten people, including all seven on board. (See Pictures)
Officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), that has begun an inquiry into the crash, have said that preliminary report shows that the single-engine plane crashed as it couldn't stand bad weather. A two-member DGCA team is inspecting the crash site. (Read: DGCA probing air crash)
The plane crashed on the roof of a two-storey house in Parvatia Colony and broke into two due to impact. While the body of the plane got stuck on the roof, the nose of the plane landed on the narrow street below. It also caught fire as soon as it crashed. (Watch: Eyewitness Accounts) | (Watch: The heroes of the night)
The PC-12 single-engine aircraft was flying to the Capital from Patna, rushing a seriously-ill patient, Rahul Raj, for specialised medical treatment. The crash occurred at around 10.50 pm, fifteen minutes after it lost contact with the Air Traffic Control at Delhi airport. (Read: 2 doctors, critical patient among those killed)
Class 12 student Rahul was being airlifted from Jagdish Memorial hospital in Patna to Apollo Hospital in Delhi to be treated for jaundice and first stage of hepatitis. He was in coma and on ventilator.
Apart from Rahul, there were two crew members and two doctors on board. Also accompanying him were his uncle and cousin brother. All seven on board were killed.
"Rahul was ill. We took him to a nursing home in Patna. The treatment was going on, he was kept in ICU but his condition was not improving. So we planned to take him to Delhi. A chartered plane came from Delhi to take him. There were doctors in the plane. When the plane was reaching Delhi, it was caught in gusty wind. That's when the plane crashed," Rahul Raj's grandfather told NDTV.
Three of those killed in the accident were residents of the two-storey house in Parvatia Colony into which the plane crashed. All three were women - identified as the wife, daughter and daughter-in-law of the owner of the house. Ten people were said to be inside the house at the time of the crash. While the owner and his son escaped unharmed, four others were injured.
The two crew members were pilot Harprit Singh and co-pilot Manjeet Singh Kataria. Twenty eight-year-old Harprit Singh got married last year. The two doctors on board were Dr. Arshad and Dr. Rajesh Agarwal, both working in Apollo Hospital.
The plane reportedly nosedived from a height of about 8,000 feet.
According to an ATC official, "apart from the difficulty of operating a single-engine aircraft, doing so in heavy wind conditions can cause a disaster. In heavy wind conditions, the backdraft from the wind hitting the tail can make the aircraft unstable and cause it to nosedive". There was reportedly a storm in the area at the time of the crash.
The aircraft, registration number VT-ACF, was being operated by Air Charter Services India. The aircraft was manufactured in 2005.