2 IAF pilots die in MiG-21 plane crash

New Delhi: Two IAF pilots died in MiG-21 trainer aircraft crash in Barmer district of Rajasthan on Thursday, IAF said.

“A twin seater Mig-21 trainer aircraft of the IAF was airborne for a training sortie from Utarlai air base in Rajasthan this evening. Around 9:10 pm, the aircraft met with an accident near Barmer. Both pilots sustained fatal injuries. IAF deeply regrets the loss of lives and stands firmly with the bereaved families,” the IAF said in a statement.

A court of Inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident, the IAF added.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the loss of lives in the mishap.

“Deeply anguished by the loss of two Air Warriors due to an accident of IAF’s Mig-21 trainer aircraft near Barmer in Rajasthan. Their service to nation will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of sadness,” Defence Minister said.

According to sources, the wreckage of the aircraft scattered across 500 meter area.

The country has lost 42 personnel in 45 air crashes involving the three Services- Army, Air Force and Navy- in the last five years, the government informed Rajya Sabha in March this year.

The Indian Air Force lost 34 personnel in 29 accidents, the Indian Army lost 7 personnel in 12 accidents and the Indian Navy lost 1 personnel in 4 accidents involving either an aircraft or chopper, the data provided by Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt read. (UNI)

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