TEAMS FROM the Indian Air Force on Thursday searched the site near Baragaon village in Morena district where a Mirage 2000 had crashed on Wednesday for the Flight Data Recorder (black box) of the plane.
The teams from Maharajpur Airbase on the outskirts of the Gwalior city and other units scanned the entire area for the black box, where the wreckage of the plane was scattered. The teams operation was in continuing till the filing of this report.
The fighter plane had taken off on a routine night sortie at about 7.35 pm from Maharajpur Airbase. Wreckage of the plane was reportedly found scattered on the agriculture fields of Baragaon village, the sources said. Pilot of the ill-fated fighter plane, Squadron Leader M M Tripathi is believed to have died in the crash, as villagers who had managed to get close to the accident site reported seeing pieces of flesh, bloodstains and a pair of shoes.
IAF rescue team has cordoned off the area and civilians including media were not allowed to get close. It is the sixth Mirage 2000 mishap since its induction into Maharajpur Airbase.
Three Mirages had crashed in 2004 - in September 2004 near Singhpur firing range on the outskirts of Gwalior, in October 2004 (near Bahadurpur village on Gwalior-Bhind road), one near Sabalgarh sub-division of Morena district in which the pilot also had died.