Ten persons, including all seven onboard a medical ambulance aircraft, were killed when the flight to Delhi from Patna crashed into roof of two houses in bad weather and caught fire in a residential area in Faridabad's Sector 22 tonight.
Faridabad's SDM Pradeep said three persons on ground -- all women -- were among the 10 dead when the P-12 single-engine turboprop aircraft belonging to Delhi-based Air Chartered Services India Limted crashed in Jawaharnagar locality near the IAF station in the Delhi suburb at around 10:35 pm shortly before landing at IGI airport in Delhi.
The women victims were believed to be residents of the affected homes. Three persons were also injured and taken to BK Hospital.
A K Saran, Joint Director, DGCA said "The plane was in contact with ATC and the blip suddenly vanished from the radar screen." Saran said there was no distress call from the pilot.
According to Delhi airport sources, the airplane lost control and nosedived from a height of about 8,000 feet, 15 minutes before landing. There was strong gusty winds due to a duststorm at the time of the crash. An engine failure was also not being ruled out.
The plane caught fire as soon as it crashed on the roof of two houses sending up plumes of smoke. Mangled remains of the ill-fated aircraft lay strewn at the site of the crash. A damaged propeller was also seen.
The airplane was ferrying a critically ill patient Rahul Raj, a 20-year-old Patna-based businessman, to be taken to Apollo Hospital in New Delhi for further medical management. Raj, who was suffering from Hepatitis and in a state of coma, was undergoing treatment in Patna's Jagdish Memorial hospital. The airplane was arranged by Apollo Hospital.
Besides the two pilots, two doctors, one male nurse and one male attendant accompanying the patient were on board the ill-fated aircraft. The plane was piloted by Harpreeet with Manjeet Kataria as the co-pilot.
Dr Arshad and Dr Rajesh were the doctors while the attendant was identified as Raj's cousin Ratnesh Kumar. The male nurse was identified as Shiril.
The bodies of all the 10 victims were badly burnt, according to Faridabad Police Commissioner P K Agarwal. The plane had taken off from Patna at 9.30 pm.