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‘Damage could have been more had plane crashed in petrol unit’

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New Delhi: Investigators look at the remains of a small BSF plane that crashed outside the airport in New Delhi on Tuesday. PTI Photo (PTI12_22_2015_000243B)

New Delhi: As investigations are underway to ascertain the cause of a plane crash in Dwarka, local residents today thanked providence, saying there could have been more damage as the accident occurred at a site that neighbours a populous village, a railway line and a petroleum storage unit.

A ten-seater Ranchi-bound chartered aircraft carrying BSF personnel and technicians crashed at Shahabad Mohanmadpur village in Dwarka area, killing all ten persons on board.

The incident which occurred between 9:40-9:45 AM gave an initial scare to both residents living nearby as well as the rescue teams rushing to the site, since the plane had crashed in the vicinity of a petroleum storage unit.


“The plane flew over the railway line and crashed onto the boundary of a sewage treatment plant on the periphery of the airport premises after hitting a tree close by. “There is a petroleum unit nearby, thank god, it did not crash there, else it would have been an inferno. Also, thankfully it flew over the neighbouring railway tracks. We are sorry for the loss of lives…the pilot didn’t jeopardise lives of many others on the ground,” a top official of the Delhi Fire Service said.

Curious onlookers from near and far swarmed on to the scene soon after the incident, as police cordoned off the site that presented a grim picture. While three of the victims’ bodies were found in burnt condition, rest were pulled out of the sewage treatment plant. The impact of the crash was so severe, hardly any part of the aircraft, a twin-engine Super King B-200, was left to be salvaged, even as teams from police, CISF and disaster management rummaged through the debris.

“The effort to retrieve the black box is is still on, but the damaged wall has now been screened and the area is being cordoned off for further investigation,” a senior police official said.

Meena Burman, a resident Shahabad Mohanmadpur, who came to the crash site after watching TV reports, expressed sorrow over the loss of lives, but nonetheless hailed the pilot saying, “He minimised casualty as most pilots do in such scenarios.”

“This village is very populated, there is a school right behind the railway line, where the plane flew over, and there is a petroleum unit nearby. Also, the village next to ours, Bagdola, is a densely populated village. So, many more lives could have been in jeopardy, had it not been for the pilot’s presence of mind,” she said.

Brothers Harsh and Aatish, students at a high school in Shahabad Mohanmadpur, who cycled to the site, said, their class was informed of the crash by a teacher, “But, we did not feel afraid, though, we feel sad for the family of the victims.”