The Indian Air Force (IAF) has confirmed that two fighter jets crashed in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on Saturday during a routine exercise, adding that two pilots are safe while a third sustained “fatal injuries”.
In a statement, the IAF said the accident took place when the Sukhoi-30 MKI and Mirage 2000 were engaged in the air bombing exercise.
The two aircraft had taken off from the the Gwalior Air Force Station.
“One of the three pilots involved, sustained fatal injuries. An inquiry has been ordered to determine the cause of the accident,” said the IAF statement.
According to defence sources, the Sukhoi-30 MKI had two pilots, while the Mirage 2000 had one during the crash that occurred in the bordering area of Morena and Bharatpur (Rajasthan).
Senior officials of the Defence Ministry and IAF have reached the crash site.
The sources also said that Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by the Chief of Air Staff on the incident.
The Defence Minister enquired about the well-being of the pilots and is monitoring the developments closely, they added.
In its statement, the IAF said that it has established a “Court of Inquiry which will establish whether there was a mid-air collision or not” between the two fighter jets.
Locals who witnessed the crash informed the local police after which the Gwalior Air Force Station was notified about the incident.
Videos from the scene shot by residents of the area showed aircraft debris on the ground.