MUMBAI: Five people were killed after a small plane crashed into a construction site in a densely populated suburb of Mumbai this afternoon. The plane was at a landing point at the Mumbai airport when it crashed some distance away in Ghatkopar, killing all four on board. two pilots and two maintenance engineers.
A man also died when the plane crashed in a place that is next to several high-rise residential buildings.
The plane, a Beechcraft King Air C 90 turboprop aircraft, was sold by the government of Uttar Pradesh to an aviation company based in Mumbai in 2014. “The agreement was made after the plane encountered an accident in Allahabad”, affirmed UP’s official Awasthi. was quoted as saying ANI.
Former civil aviation minister Praful Patel tweeted that the pilot saved many lives at her expense, by diverting to avoid crashing into an occupied area.
Saddened to hear about the unfortunate incident at #ghatkopar as Charter plane crashes in an open area. Salute to the pilot who showed presence of mind to avoid a big mishap, saving many lives at the cost of her own life. #RIP to all the 5 Dead. My deepest condolences.
— Praful Patel (@praful_patel) June 28, 2018
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA, the 12-seater plane took off from Juhu’s airstrip on a test flight.
In images on television and social networks, there were flames and black smoke coming from the wreckage of the plane. A large crowd gathered around the rubble, many carrying under the rains, while firefighters made their way through the rubble.
“There was a big explosion and the adjacent tree caught fire and the fire was spilled on the streets,” a man told NDTV.
The plane crashed through the wall of the residential complex under construction and burst into flames leaving a strong smell of aviation fuel throughout the area. The parts of the engines, the propellers and the landing gear were completely burnt, even before the firefighters could reach the place.
“Initially, an electrical box is required in the building under construction, it must have been set on fire, but when the place was searched, it found the charred body of a man who apparently was on the bicycle when the plane crashed,” he added.
It took more than an hour to put out the fire. The plane’s black box was recovered and the DGCA has already initiated a preliminary investigation into what caused the accident. The teams of the DGAC and Rescue and firefighting of aircraft or ARFF have already begun to collect evidence from the accident site.
“There was a loud rumble and then we saw the plane,” said a teenager who lives in the neighborhood.
A resident of an apartment complex, Patel Niwas, added: “We are used to the planes that fly over us, we thought there was an explosion at the construction site, only later we realized that an airplane had crashed.”