Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane dropped bomb by mistake


In the third such instance this year, an Indian Air Force fighter plane managed to drop a bomb on Indian territory, this time Cops inspect the spot where a Mirage 2000 fighter plane dropped a bomb by mistake in Jaisalmer on Monday night, miraculously missing the Indira Gandhi Canal that is a lifeline for millions in western Rajasthan.

A Mirage-2000 aircraft that took off from Gwalior on a routine exercise, mistimed an operation and dropped a 100-pound bomb 12 km from Mohangarh town in Jaisalmer district on Monday night. It was sheer chance that the bomb exploded some 100 feet from the Indira Gandhi Canal. Though the boundary of the canal was damaged, a large chunk of the canal could have breached had the projectile fallen a little closer, flooding nearby towns. A 100-pound bomb can cause damage to life and property up to 200 feet from the spot of explosion.

Confirming the incident, spokesman for the South-Western Air Command Group Captain Manoj Mehta said, "The aircraft had taken off from Gwalior as part of a routine exercise on Monday evening and was to drop the bomb at a target in Chandhan Range, 25 km away from the place where the bomb actually fell.'' The Pakistan border is 60 km from Mohangarh town. Two other small villages, Hasam Ki Dhani and Hameed Nada, are barely 1 km from the site of the explosion.

The bomb created a 25-feet-wide crater and over 80 trees were burnt. Dhanna Ram, a security guard at a nearby forest department outpost, claimed he was a witness. "I heard a loud explosion near 1404 RD (an identification marker) of the Indira Gandhi Main Canal around 10.30 pm. When I rushed out of the outpost building, I saw fire and two aircraft flying in the sky,'' said Dhanna Ram. On Tuesday morning, he mustered enough courage to visit the spot and then inform police.

Group Captain Mehta added that the bomb may have been released either due to a technical snag or there was delay in the release of the bomb by the pilot for some unknown reason. A four-member team headed by Wing Commander Ajay Kaul and Wing Commander Sudhir inspected the area on Tuesday morning. An inquiry has been ordered into the near-disaster.

IAF planes dropped bombs on Indian territory by mistake on February 7 and February 13. Both incidents were reported in Jaisalmer district. On February 7, a bomb fell on Kamode village and on February 13, one more crashed into Doshe Khan ki Dhani. There were no injuries but the February 13 bombing damaged crops and led to cracks in buildings.

Another eyewitness, Ragaram Vishnoi, also a security guard at the outpost, said he thought the explosion which shook the ground was an "act of God'', but later realised that the bomb could have been dropped by an aircraft.

Shrapnel from the bomb was scattered over an area of 200 metres. "It was sheer luck that the bomb did not hit the canal's boundary or the bridge which is situated just 100 feet away from the place where the bomb dropped. Mohangarh could have submerged in water if any such thing had happened,'' said Ragaram.

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More