Five persons were killed when an aircraft on a test flight crashed in a crowded Mumbai suburb on Thursday afternoon, police said. Those killed include two pilots and two flight engineers on board, besides a pedestrian in the Ghatkopar area where it crashed, police said.
It was a miraculous escape for many as the area is well-populated and could have resulted in several deaths.
The King Air C90 12-seater aircraft, which took off from the Juhu airstrip, crashed in the Jagruti Nagar area of Ghatkopar, police said. A team of officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have rushed to the crash site for an investigation, an official said.
Police, fire brigade and disaster management teams have rushed to the spot. Bodies of those killed were taken to the nearby Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar, an official said.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau will conduct a detailed probe into the crash.
A fire brigade official said, “Our control room got a call at 1.15 pm informing a plane crash. Our jawans were immediately rushed to the site to launch the rescue operation. Four fire engines and as many water tankers were rushed to douse the fire that occurred after the plane crashed.” The police have cordoned off the area, an official said.
The chartered plane does not belong to the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government, as earlier speculated.
UP Principal Secretary of Information Avnish Awasthi told news agency ANI that the plane was sold to Mumbai’s UY Aviation after it met with an accident in Allahabad.
In the aftermath of a chartered plane that crashed into Mumbai’s Ghatkopar killing five and injuring one, the company UY Aviation that purchased the aircraft from Uttar Pradesh in 2014 is not new to controversy reports DNA. Last year, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis survived a helicopter scare in Pen near Alibaug, and it has been learnt that the chopper belonged to the same company.
At the time, Fadnavis was about to board the chopper when the pilot took off before the CM boarded. Realising what had happened in the nick of time, Fadnavis turned back. The VT-UPB — a Bell 230 helicopter — was chartered from UY Aviation.
This twin-engine helicopter was manufactured in 1995, and earlier owned by the UP government. However, it was rarely used by UP chief ministers as the UP government felt it had performance issues. It was then purchased by Mumbai-based UY Aviation. It was sent for CM’s tour on Friday.
UY Aviation is a Juhu-based firm and has a website. However, when DNA tried logging into the homepage both on a mobile device and a PC, the message read, “Internal Server Error. The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an Error Document to handle the request.”
“UY Aviation Pvt Ltd King Air C-90 aircraft VT-UPZ has met with an accident at Mumbai. Operator bought this aircraft from UP Govt . The aircraft took off from Juhu airport for test flight. There were two pilots and two AMEs on board. All on board aircraft along with one person on ground are dead. Accident site is Ghatkopar, Mumbai. DGCA team on way for prelim investigation. AAIB shall do detailed one,” said a DGCA spokesperson.
Thursday’s incident took place at 1.30 pm in the compound of an under construction building, claim agency reports.
A private aircraft – VT-UPZ, King Air C-90 with a capacity of 12 passengers crashed in the old Maniklal lane in Ghatkopar which is near telephone exchange on Jeev Daya Lane.
“Five people have been killed and two others injured,” said BMC PRO.
The plane was carrying was supposed to land in Juhu and it belongs to UY Aviation.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said that he is on the spot one pedestrian also died in the incident.
The incident took place a day after Sukhoi-30 fighter jet crashed in Nashik.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to conduct an investigation into the plane crash, an official said.
Meanwhile, Prabhu has expressed deep shock over the air crash and directed concerned officials of the ministry to rush to the crash site and extend all possible help and assistance, an official said.