Indian fighter aircraft crashes in West Bengal, pilots eject safely

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

A MiG-27 belonging to the Indian Air Force

An Indian Air Force MiG crashed today in Jarohi village in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. Police officials in Jailpaiguri said that the pilots of the plane managed to eject safely and that one of them has been taken to Hasimara airbase hospital to be treated for injuries to his legs. Although the jet went up in flames after hitting the ground, no property damage has been reported.

The only civilian casualty was a local girl who, officials say, fell unconscious after hearing the sound of the crash. She has been taken to Alipurdaur hospital for treatment. An IAF spokesman denied these reports, saying there had been no casualties or property damage on the ground.

This is the sixth jet, and the fourth MiG, the IAF has lost this year. On September 28, a MiG-29 went down in Haryana following a double engine failure. Another crash occurred in Gujarat this June. The Russian-made MiG series is said to have a history of engine problems.

Source pictures show what appears to be the wreckage of a MiG-27, however reports of a MiG-29 lost persist.