Nine BSF troopers and a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) co-pilot were killed when a chartered plane flying to Ranchi crashed in Delhi on Tuesday morning soon after take-off, authorities said.
The dead included the pilot and co-pilot as well as eight others from the Border Security Force.
Here is the sequence of events:
1) The plane takes off for Ranchi, carrying technicians belonging to the Border Security Force. The technicians were to repair a helicopter in Ranchi.
2) The aircraft appears to be unstable as it crosses the boundary wall of the Indira Gandhi International Airport -- which also has an area reserved for the military, according to witnesses.
3) The aircraft narrowly misses an express train. The pilot loses contact with ground control, according to authorities.
4) “It took a kind of U-turn, then suddenly went down, crashed and exploded in a huge ball of fire,” a man who saw the accident told journalists. “We saw thick black smoke rising up.”
5) A railway employee close to the site said he and his colleagues saw “a huge fire” after the plane came down. “There was a lot of fire all around that nothing else could be seen.”
6) The crash took place at 9.50am in Shahabad village at the edge of the airport. The plane was a Beechcraft Super King. Twenty fire tenders battled the flames, the Delhi Fire Service said.
The Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd said a “serious tragic incident occurred outside the airport boundary wall” within minutes after the plane took off.
It said the airport authorities immediately activated the full emergency operation. “Flight operation at the airport continues.”
President Pranab Mukherjee said he was sad to learn about the deaths. “My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was pained by the loss of lives. “My thoughts are with the families of the deceased.”
Home minister Rajnath Singh, who visited the crash site, called the deaths “extremely painful”. Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed grief.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the disaster was “extremely unfortunate”.
BSF Director General DK Pathak announced a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to the families of each person who died.
“An amount of Rs 15 lakh will be given from the BSF internal fund in addition to Rs 10 lakh, which is the ex-gratia from the government,” he told media.
The passengers were identified as deputy commandant D Kumar, inspector SP Sharma, sub-inspectors Ravindra Kumar, Chotte Lal and Sunder Singh, assistant sub-inspector DP Chouhan and constable K Rawat.
The pilot was BP Yadav and the co-pilot was Rajesh Shivrain, who was attached to the SSB.
Minister of state for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said the government had ordered an inquiry.
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