A pilot was killed after two Indian Air Force fighter jets - a Sukhoi Su-30 and a Mirage 2000 - crashed during a training exercise earlier today, officials said on Saturday.
While one aircraft crashed in Morena in Madhya Pradesh, the other is believed to have gone down 100 km away in Rajasthan's Bharatpur.
The Su-30 had two pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot, defence sources said. Two pilots are said to be safe after they managed to eject. The two pilots, who are reportedly seriously injured, have been moved to a hospital.
Search and rescue operations are underway for the third pilot.
Both the fighter jets had taken off from the Gwalior Air Force base.
Videos from the scene, shot by locals in Morena, showed debris of the aircraft on the ground.
The Air Force has launched a probe to examine if a mid-air collision led to the crash, defence sources told NDTV.
"IAF court of inquiry has been launched to establish whether there was a mid-air collision or not. The Su-30 had two pilots while Mirage 2000 had one pilot during the crash. Initial reports suggest two pilots are safe while an IAF chopper reaching the location of the third pilot soon," sources said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has been briefed by Indian Air Force chief on the crash of two aircraft, news agency PTI reported.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said in a tweet, "The news of the crash of Sukhoi-30 and Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Air Force near Kolaras in Morena is very sad. I have instructed the local administration to cooperate with the Air Force in quick rescue and relief work. I pray to God that the pilots of the planes are safe."
BDST: 1415 HRS, JAN 28, 2023