|Date of Crash||04 Apr 03||Aircraft Type||MiG-23BN|
|Pilot details||Flt Lt Balwinder Singh Gill|
|Short Text||Cr in Ludhiana 4 k on ground TO Halwara|
|Details||Four of family killed as MiG-23 crashes into house in Punjab New Delhi, April 4: A MiG-23 fighter of the Indian Air Force on Friday crashed over a residential area at a village, 20 km from Ludhiana, killing four members of a family but the pilot bailed out safely. A child belonging to the family remained buried in the debris and its fate was not known after the wreckage of the aircraft fell over five houses at Mullanpur Dakha substantially damaging them. Rescue workers at the site had earlier reported that the child was among those killed, but later a senior police officer said that since the child was still buried he may be alive. The Pilot identified as Flt Lt P.S. Gill ejected safely after detecting an unspecified fault seconds before the aircraft came hurtling down in flames, IAF sources said. A court of inquiry has been ordered into the accident. Eyewitnesses also reported the fighter coming down in flames around 1030 hours IST, after it took off on a routine training sortie from Halwara Air base in Punjab. The black box of the ill-fated aircraft has been recovered and could give clues to the probable cause of the crash, senior IAF officials said. While the bodies of three persons of Bimla Devi's family were recovered from the debris, she succumbed to burn injuries this afternoon in the Dayanand Medical hospital at Ludhiana where she was rushed from the spot with four other injured. Those killed were Devi's son Raju (30), daughter-in-law Paramjit Kaur, who was six months pregnant, and a 15-year-old boy Sunny, who had come on a visit from Ludhiana Flames in the residential area could be seen from a distance and fire tenders from Ludhiana and nearby areas were rushed to the site to bring the fire under control, IAF has five squadrons of MiG-23 which is an interdiction aircraft with a ground support role. This is the third aircraft of this type to crash after they were inducted in the early eighties. While IAF's other ground support aircraft MiG-27 is being upgraded, no modernisation of MiG-23s is being considered and there is a possibility of these aircraft being phased out.|
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