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Mirage crashes near Gwalior, pilots safe

October 12, 2004 14:51 IST

A Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft on Tuesday crashed near Gwalior while taking part in a joint exercise with the Singapore Air Force, but the two pilots ejected safely.

The mishap occurred between 1130 and 1140 IST when the fighter was returning to Gwalior on detection of some technical problem soon after take-off, an IAF spokesman told PTI.

The pilots decided to eject after coming to the conclusion that the aircraft would not be able to make it to the base, he said adding the plane crashed four nautical miles short of the base.

Fire brigades and rescue teams were dispatched as a precautionary measure, he said adding senior officials reached the spot to take control of the situation.

The two pilots were safe and nobody was injured on the ground either.

Earlier, Additional District Magistrate R K Jain said that preliminary investigation revealed that the wheel of the Mirage fell off immediately after it took off from the Maharajpur Air Force base.

A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the crash.

This is the second crash involving a Mirage in the past three weeks as on September 23, another aircraft, which left the air base in Gwalior for a practice interception sortie, had crashed after developing the same problem.

The IAF spokesman said the joint exercise 'Ankush' was unaffected by the mishap.

The exercise, which started two days ago, is scheduled to continue till October 27.

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