6 IAF personnel, 1 civilian killed as aircraft crashes in Budgam

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Srinagar, Feb 27: Seven persons, including six Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and a civilian, were killed when a military aircraft crashed in central Kashmir district of Budgam on Wednesday morning.

Official sources said an IAF aircraft, which took off from Technical Airport in Budgam, crashed on Wednesday at around 1040 hrs.

“Six IAF personnel died on the spot after the military aircraft crashed in an open field in Garend Kalan, about 7 km from the airport in an open field,” they said.

They said one civilian — identified as Kifayat Hussain — who was present in the area at the time of the crash, was also killed.

The crash amid rapid escalation of tension between India and Pakistan led to speculation that it was targeted by Pakistani warplanes that violated Indian airspace. However, official sources said that the chopper crashed due to a technical snag.

However, there was no official confirmation about the death toll in the crash.

Meanwhile, locals said that they heard two loud explosion before the aircraft caught fire and crashed into the ground.

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