West Bengal: Mig-27 crash kills one, twenty five injured

Jalpaiguri: A MiG-27 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force (IAF) crashed in Bhotputti village in West Bengal's Jalpaiguri district today,killing one and, injuring the pilot and 25 villagers on the ground.

The pilot, Saket Verma, ejected from the aircraft but was injured and has been hospitalised, Superintendent of Police Anand Kumar said.

Inspector General of Police (North Bengal) Ranveer Kumar said that a farmer, B Rai, who was cultivating his field was killed when the MIG crashed between Moynaguri and Chengrabandha.

The SP said that 25 people were injured when the aircraft crashed, of whom 5 were in a serious condition.

An IAF spokesperson said in New Delhi that the MiG-27 took off from the Hashimara Air Base for a routine sortie and crashed within minutes of take-off at around 1030 hours.

This is the second Mig-27 crash in the eastern sector. In February this year, the IAF's entire fleet of over 100 Mig 27s were grounded for technical inspection, after a pilot was killed in a crash near Siliguri in West Bengal.

India lost two MiG-27 jets last year, and a total of about 12 since 2001, due to crashes attributed largely to defects in the aircraft's engines.

Soviet-designed MiG-27 fighter jets, known as the Bahadhur (Brave) in the IAF, have been produced in India under license since 1986. The IAF operates 5 squadrons of the  ground attack fighter.

(with PTI Inputs)
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