All the 10 people on board a small Ranchi-bound BSF plane carrying technical personnel were killed when it crashed near Dwarka in India’s capital Delhi Tuesday and burst into flames just outside the IGI airport here shortly after take-off.
Aviation sources said the accident happened around 9.50 am when the twin-engine Superking plane crashed into the airport boundary wall near a railway track and landed in a sewage treatment plant while returning apparently due to a technical problem five minutes after it took off for Ranchi.
The aircraft lost contact with the Air Traffic Control, at 9.50 am, they said.
“It is unfortunate that all 10 people including the pilots have died in the crash,” Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said.
There were two pilots on board.
“It is a matter of probe what led to the crash. We can tell only after the inquiry on what what led to this incident,” he added.
BSF sources said the technicians were on their way to Ranchi to repair a helicopter.
The DG-level talks between India and Bangladesh scheduled Tuesday in Dhaka have been cancelled in the wake of the crash, according to BSF sources.
Police said six bodies have been recovered from the crash site. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the crash.
“Pained by the loss of lives in the BSF plane crash in Delhi. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased,” he said.
Witnesses said the plane hit a wall outside the technical area of the airport before bursting into flames and then crashed into a water body.
“We saw a plane spiralling down which crashed near the wall where work was going on. I could sport one body. A labourer who was working was also injured,” a witness Suraj said.
The area was engulfed in dense smoke and fire with pieces of aircraft spread around.
Delhi Fire Service chief A K Sharma said 15 tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the flames.
An inquiry has been ordered by the Civil Aviation Ministry. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed the Prime Minister about the crash and rushed to the crash site.
The 10 on board the ill-fated aircraft comprised the pilot, who was a second-in-command rank officer of SIB, the co-pilot, who is a Deputy Commandent, six technicians, one engineer and one crew member.
Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said authorities were in the process of setting up a Committee of Inquiry to probe the mishap.
“We are trying to identify a pilot who has flown the type of aircraft that has crashed,” he said.