An external fuel tank from a Tejas aircraft dropped out of the sky and onto a field in Irugur, Coimbatore on Tuesday morning. The parts of the aircraft fell onto the field after catching fire mid-air.
According to initial reports, a 1,200-capacity additional fuel tank fell from the Air Force plane. The impact on the field reportedly created a three-foot crater and parts of the tank were scattered across the area. The impact caused a scare for workers on the field and at a nearby cement godown.
The Training Department of the Indian Air Force clarified that it was an external fuel tank of a Tejas Light Combat Aircraft in which two of their personnel were training.
Nandhakumar, a worker on the field, said that he saw people running towards the field around 8.30 am on Tuesday. â€śI rushed to see what happened. Parts of an aircraft were scattered across the field 10-foot wide and three-foot deep pits. Some crops in the area were burnt and damaged. We informed the village officer immediately who came to the spot with the police to investigate the issue. People from the air base also came to the spot and took back the parts,â€ť he said.
An official statement from the Indian Air Force said that the aircraft was on a routine sortie when the incident happened. â€śToday morning around 0840h one fuel drop tank fell off from a Tejas aircraft on a routine sortie from Sulur Air Base near Coimbatore. The aircraft landed back safely after the incident. No damage was reported on ground. The cause of the incident is being investigated,â€ť the statement said.