Indian Air Force MiG-21 crashes in West Bengal, pilot safe

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Bagdogra (West Bengal), Feb 19(ANI): An Indian Air Force (IAF) MiG-21 fighter aircraft crashed soon after take-off from Bagdogra air base in West Bengal's Darjeeling district on Friday, but the pilot ejected to safety.

"The aircraft crashed around 3 p.m. soon after take-off and the pilot, squadron leader Rahul Tiwari, ejected safely. The pilot was picked up by an SAR (search and rescue) helicopter and has been taken to hospital," an IAF spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the IAF has ordered an inquiry into the incident.

The incidents comes days after an IAF pilot was killed when the MiG-27, he was flying, crashed in Hashimara air base on Tuesday

The aircraft had also crashed just after its take off.

The IAF's No. 20 Wing is based here, along with the No. 8 Squadron flying MiG-21 fighter aircraft and a helicopter unit.

Along with the airbase at Hasimara, it is responsible for combat air operations over a large area including North Bengal, Sikkim, and if needed, Bhutan.

An Indian Army Sub-Area and Base Hospital are located a few kilometres away in Bengdubi. The base is also important as it caters to all military air traffic for the Indian Army's 33rd orps based nearby in Sukna. (ANI)

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