Hyderabad air crash probe begins

A day after an Indian Navy trainer aircraft crashed into a two-storeyed building in a densely-populated area during an air show here, a probe into the incident began Thursday.

Officials from the Indian Navy visited the scene of the crash at Bowenpally near Begumpet airport to gather clues that would help them ascertain the cause of the crash.

Defence personnel also started removing the aircraft’s wreckage while the damaged building remained cordoned off by police.

The defence ministry had Wednesday announced a probe into the crash.

A case under the Aircraft Act 1934 was also registered by the police at Bowenpally police station Thursday.

The 39-year-old pilot, Commander S.K. Maurya, and co-pilot, Lt. Commander Rahul Nair, 34, of the HJT-16 Kiran Mk II were killed and four civilians on the ground were injured in the crash Wednesday.

Residents of the building are still shocked but others in the area heaved a sigh of relief as the damage was limited to one building. Officials said there could have been more casualties if the aircraft had travelled some more distance after crashing into the building.

It was one of the four aircraft participating in an aerobatics show immediately after the inaugural session of India Aviation 2010 at Begumpet airport.

The plane was unable to pull up from a dive. It went into a spiral when the planes were breaking away from the formation and going in different directions.

The aircraft hit a mobile telephone tower on top of the building and exploded. A large part of the aircraft smashed into the house, destroying it. Huge debris fell on to a car parked below, crushing it.

Municipal authorities are planning to demolish the building as the crash weakened its structure and it now poses a threat to other houses nearby. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is likely to take a decision in this regard after an inspection of the building by its engineers.

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