Mirage aircraft: Some fled, some clicked photos as jet came crashing

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BENGALURU: It’s not every day that officegoers on Yemalur Road, off Old Airport Road, see a big metal bird come crashing. But Friday morning was different. Minutes after the clock struck 10.30, a Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft crashed within the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) compound near Yemalur and caught fire.

“I was going to office on a bike when I suddenly heard a loud noise. When I turned, I saw fire and black smoke engulf the sky. I got scared and rushed away from the spot as I didn’t know what had happened,” said Vijay Kumar, who works at a private firm close to the HAL compound.

Within a few minutes of the crash, emergency services arrived at the spot and local police were informed. Police sent more than 50 personnel to man the spot, restricting entry of curious onlookers. Two helicopters first did a reconnaissance of the site, adding to the curiosity of laypersons who had gathered around the HAL facility. Some of the first pictures of the crash, in fact, came from people residing in nearby apartments or those in office highrises.

“I was on the terrace of a building nearby and by the time I realised something had happened, I could only see black smoke. I didn’t see the flight crash, but fire engines and helicopters were at the spot already,” said Anna Francis, employee of a company in the area.

While the crash happened sometime between 10.27am to 10.33am, curious onlookers waiting to learn what exactly had happened were seen hanging around the facility even after 1pm. Hasan Saab, 28, a cab driver, said: “I was having breakfast when I first heard a loud noise. I saw a jet had crashed. I went inside but was chased away by the authorities.”

Balakrishnan G, who works at Deloitte, said: “My friend and I were on our way to office when we heard the noise. We quickly realised it was a crash and called an ambulance.”

There were plenty of people, all giving their versions of the crash, even as the actual reason was not officially available. Some of them fled the scene seeing a huge cloud of black smoke, while some others, a little far away, took photographs and videos.





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