Choppers and emergency vehicles have been sent to the site. Search and rescue operations are underway.
Bengaluru: Two aircraft of the Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team crashed at the Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru.
The accident took place at around 11:50 am during a rehearsal session at the Yelahanka airbase in north Bengaluru.
DGP Fire Services M N Reddi said, “one pilot has succumbed to injuries in the Surya Kiran jet crash and other two are safe,”
According to Bengaluru Police, one civilian has been hurt, both pilots have ejected, and the debris has fallen near ISRO layout, Yelahanka new town area.
#WATCH Two aircraft of Surya Kiran Aerobatics Team crashed today at Yelahanka airbase in Bengaluru, during rehearsal for #AeroIndia2019. One civilian hurt. Both pilots ejected, the debris has fallen near ISRO layout, Yelahanka new town area. #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/gJHWx6OtSm— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2019
The visuals showed smoke billowing from the site of the crash.
The Hawk jets were performing a manoeuvre when one was flying inverted carrying a pilot and the other below it with two pilots moments before they hit each other and spun out of control, according to police and eye witnesses.
Both aircraft then came crashing down in a bushy area in a residential layout, but none of the local population was injured, police said.
One of the three aircrew of the aircraft, Wg Cdr V T Shelke and Sqn Ldr T J Singh ejected. However Wg Cdr Sahil Gandhi sustained fatal injuries, it said.
The two aicrew have been airlifted to air force command hospital, Bengaluru, it said.
A Court of Inquiry will investigate the cause of the accident, the statement said.
"I'm aware of it (incident)," Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, but did not elaborate further when asked about the accident on the sidelines of an event here.
The tragedy, just a day before Asia's premier air show is to commence, comes about three weeks after a Mirage-2000 trainer aircraft of the IAF crashed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport here on February 1, killing both pilots.
'Surya Kiran' (ray of the Sun), with its breathtaking manoeuvres and formations, is always a major attraction in Aero India shows.
The aerobatic team was formed in 1996 as part of the 52nd Squadron of the IAF.