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3rd pilot in India's twin air crash found dead

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-01-28 16:59

A general view of the debris of a crashed aircraft in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India, Jan 28, 2023 in this screen grab obtained from a handout video. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW DELHI - The third pilot in the twin air crash involving two Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets on Saturday was found dead, confirmed the IAF.

Earlier in the day, two fighter jets, a Sukhoi-30 and a Mirage-2000, crashed in central India while they were on a routine operational flying training mission. The wreckage of the two jets were found 100 km apart.

An IAF statement said "two fighter aircraft of IAF were involved in an accident near Gwalior today morning. The aircraft were on routine operational flying training mission. One of the three pilots involved sustained fatal injuries. An inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident."

Gwalior is a city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

The wreckage of Mirage-2000 was found in the Morena district of Madhya Pradesh, while the remains of Sukhoi-30 were found in the Bharatpur district of neighboring state Rajasthan.

It is yet to be ascertained if there was a mid-air collision between the two jets.

The two fighter jets took off from IAF's Gwalior Airbase minutes before they crashed. "Two pilots flying the Sukhoi-30 had ejected safely, though they received some injuries. Both have been airlifted and admitted to a hospital," an IAF source in Delhi was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief of Defence Staff Anil Chauhan to take stock of the situation.

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