A MiG-21 jet of the Indian air force crashed in the western state of Rajasthan on Monday morning, killing three civilians on the ground, the air force and officials said. In a statement, the air force said: "The aircraft had got airborne for a routine operational training sortie from the Air Force Station at Suratgarh. Soon thereafter, the pilot experienced an onboard emergency, following which he attempted to recover the aircraft as per existing procedures." 'Having failed to do so, he (pilot) initiated an ejection, sustaining minor injuries in the process," the statement said. It said that the aircraft wreckage fell on a house in the Hanumangarh district, killing three people. An inquiry has been initiated to ascertain the cause of the accident, the statement said. Confirming the death toll, Sudheer Choudhary, the district police chief, told Anadolu that three people were also injured and taken to the hospital. In January, two air force fighter jets - Sukhoi-30 and Mirage 2000 - crashed during training exercises in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, killing at least one pilot and injuring two others. In recent years, there have been several accidents involving the Russian-made MiG-21, dubbed the "flying coffin," in India. The Indian Air Force has planned to phase out all remaining squadrons of MiG-21s by 2025, local media reported last year.
Source: Anadolu Agency