Two pilots, Wing Commander M. Rana and Flight Lieutenant Advitiya Bal, succumbed to injuries in a MiG-21 fighter jet crash near Barmer, Rajasthan, last evening. Advitiya Bal was from Jammu while M Rana hailed from Himachal Pradesh.
The unfortunate incident happened at approximately 9 o’clock in the evening on the borders of Bhimda village. The Indian Air Force said in a statement that a twin-seater Mig-21 trainer aircraft was airborne for a training sortie from Utarlai air base in Rajasthan last evening.
IAF added that the aircraft had an accident near Barmer at about 9:10 p.m. Injury to both pilots resulted in death. The IAF expressed its deep regret for the loss of life and promised unwavering support for the bereaved families.
Senior members of the air force and the district administration, including the collector for Barmer and the police superintendent, arrived at the scene of the tragedy. According to some reports, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari was inquired by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh about the fighter jet accident.
Rajnath Singh wrote on Twitter that he is deeply pained by the death of two Air Warriors owing to an IAF Mig-21 training aircraft accident near Barmer in Rajasthan. Their contributions to the country won’t be forgotten. In this difficult time, his thoughts are with the grieving families, he added.