MiG-27 crashes in North Bengal, pilot safe, blackbox recovered

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Siliguri, Jan 31 (UNI) An Indian Air Force MiG-27 fighter jet aircraft today crashed in a tea garden in north Bengal after a mid-air explosion while on a routine training flight.

The blackbox of the combat aircraft was later recovered, Kalchini police station Circle Inspector Gopal Haldar said.

The IAF warplane had taken off from the Hashimara Airbase and was on ''a routine training flying mission'' when it plunged to the ground at 1228 hours, creating an eight to nine ft-deep crater.

Pilot Wg Cdr Jaspreet Singh ejected safely while the jet fighter crashed in the Bhatpara Tea Estate under Alipurduar police station in Jalpaiguri district.

There was no damage to civil property and no individual was injured or killed, sources said.

An inquiry had been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident.

Although there was no loss of human life, ten animals - six goats and four pigs - were killed under the impact, Mr Mondol said.

A six-year-old boy was also injured while running out of panic, the police officer informed.

A preliminary investigation report said technical snag was the primary reason for the accident.

Senior IAF officials visited the accident spot, some 130 km east of Siliguri town.

Police had cordoned off the area.

The accident was the second since 2007's MiG-21 crash near Kurseong in which the pilot was killed.

In 2006 another MiG-21 crashed near Samuktolla in Coochbehar in which the pilot ejected safely and in 2005 a MiG-21 met with an accident at Sukna.

UNI XC-PC SJC GL RN2051

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