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July 17, 2000
Alliance Air Boeing 737 crashes near Patna
The Rediff Team
An Alliance Air Boeing 737 crashed at Aneesabad, a suburb of Patna, in Bihar at about 0715 IST on Monday with 58 people on board, including six crew.
The number of casualties was not immediately known, but it is feared that all the people on board were killed.
Flight CD-7412, which had taken off from Calcutta for Delhi via Patna and Lucknow, crashed in a government residential colony behind Gardani Bagh Girls School, damaging two houses. Some residents were rescued, but it is feared that there are at least five casualties on the ground as well.
Twelve survivors were extricated from the debris, but it was not clear if they were passengers or people from the residential colony.
Rescue work began with a single fire engine, but the army was soon called in to assist in the clearing operations.
The marshy nature of the area, which had an overflowing nullah running nearby, was hampering the rescue work. Residents of the nearby Punjabi Colony also joined in the rescue effort.
Chief Minister Rabri Devi and her husband, Rashtriya Janata Dal president Laloo Prasad Yadav, visited the site of the accident.
Indian Airlines chairman and managing director Sunil Arora and commercial director Manet Paes have rushed back to New Delhi from Bombay. They were in Bombay in connection with a meeting of the Parliament Consultative Committee on Aviation.
Eyewitnesses told Star News, a satellite news channel, that one of the engines of the twin-engined aircraft was burning when the plane plummeted to earth. Some of the trees in the area also caught fire as a result.
A special plane ferrying relatives of the passengers on board CD-7412 is to leave Calcutta for Patna latest by 1145 IST on Monday.
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