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Eyewitnesses recall Old Faridabad's night of horror

Last updated on: May 26, 2011 19:08 IST

Eyewitnesses recall Faridabad's night of horror

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Sahim Salim in Faridabad

The Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop aircraft that crashed into a densely-populated colony in Old Faridabad, killing all seven on board and three on the ground, first circled the entire colony before crashing.

Eyewitnesses say that the airplane was dangerously close to the ground and was completely at the mercy of the strong gusts of wind the area witnessed.

"It swirled for about half a minute in the locality. I was just closing up my shop, when I saw the plane flying very close to the ground. It was circling in the direction the wind was blowing," said Amit Singh, whose shop is about 100 metres from the accident site.

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Image: The crash site
Photographs: Sahim Salim
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'It bounced off terrace of my house'

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There was a rumble coming from the plane. Suddenly, it crashed and burst into flames," he added.

The plane first hit the terrace of one house, bounced off it, and then crashed into another house, killing three women who were on the terrace.

Indra Lal, the resident of the house the plane first hit, points out to the terrace of her house, where there is a hole.

"Can you see that? We were sleeping, when there was a thunderous noise overhead. The plane first hit our room and the whole house shook. It then bounced off our terrace and fell on the house of the Sehrawats," Indra says.

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Image: The aircraft made a gaping hole in the terrace of the house
Photographs: Sahim Salim
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'We tried to save them, but the flames were too intense'

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"We were lucky, but it proved fatal for the Sehrawats, who have been living in this area since 15 years," her husband, Lalit Lal, adds.

A neighbor, Omkar Kumar, was with his friends when he saw the plane crash. He immediately went to their rescue and in the process got serious burn injuries on his face.

"It was chaotic. When the plane crashed, my friends and I rushed there. We broke open water tanks on the roofs and tried to extinguish the flames. I tried to go into the house where the plane had crashed to look for survivors, but the flames were too intense," Omkar says.

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Image: An investigator at the crash site
Photographs: Sahim Salim
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'The entire house went up in flames'

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"When the plane crashed, it broke into two pieces. One part (body) rested on the roof and the other (nose) fell on the street below. Its fuel tank exploded first and the whole house went up in flames," he said.

"After that, there were two small explosions. I got injured from the second one, and fell unconscious," Omkar says.

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Image: The scene of the crash
Photographs: Sahim Salim
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'Everything was covered in smoke'

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His friend Arvind Singh also received injuries on the head.

"I was also trying to rescue the people inside, but because of a blast, one of the pieces hit my head, knocking me unconscious," Arvind Singh says.

Satish Kumar, another friend, received injuries on his legs after he tripped and fell.

"We were all trying to extinguish the flames, but because of the heavy smoke, I could not see where I was going. I tripped on one of the airplane parts and fell down. Something fell on my leg and fractured it," Kumar says.


Image: Arvind Singh recieved head injuries, while his friend Omkar singh got burns on the face
Photographs: Sahim Salim
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