A MiG-27 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force crashed near Mujnai Tea Estate in north Bengal on Friday. While the lone pilot safely ejected, two children suffered burn injuries.
The jet, with Squadron Leader Gautam Choyal in the cockpit, took off from Hasimara airbase, around 550 km north of Kolkata, on regular exercise at 1 pm and crashed around 10 km east of the base around 1.10 pm.
The jet had developed a technical snag within few minutes of taking off and its rear end caught fire. The pilot ejected successfully and landed safely using a parachute inside the tea estate, around 7 km from the base.
The jet, however, went ahead and crashed at a nearby riverbank. Two children playing by the river suffered burnt injuries. Seven-year-old Amit Tirkey was admitted to a nearby rural hospital and later shifted to Birpara government hospital.
While his younger brother Sandip (6) was discharged after he was given first aid, the pilot was admitted to the government hospital but was later shifted to the airbase hospital.
A statement from the ministry of defence said that there was no reported damage to any civil property or life. The ministry ordered a Court of Inquiry to investigate the accident.
A MiG-27 had earlier crashed on January 31 last year near Hashimara airbase. Pilot Wing Commander Jaspreet Singh had managed to eject safely.