Two combat trainer aircraft Yak-130 of Bangladesh Air Force crashed at Moheshkhali of the country’s south-eastern Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday evening.
Inter-Services Public Relations director Lieutenant Colonel Muhammad Rashidul Islam said all the four pilots were safe.
Defence ministry officials said Group Captain Sharif Mustafa and Squadron Leader Moniruzzman in one aircraft and Wing Commanders Azim Ahmed and Hasan Mohammad Rajib in another aircraft were on a ‘formation mission’.
Until 10:00pm, three of the four pilots were taken to a Navy Hospital at Patenga while the other was traced and operation to rescue him was going on, they said.
The officials said around fifty minutes after they took off about 6:00pm from BAF Base Zahurul Haque in Chittagong and both the aircrafts lost their communications with the air traffic control.
Later, the police officials in Cox’s Bazar said local people heard big bang and found two aircraft crashed — one in a salt field at Kutubjon and the other in a betel-leaf plantation at Jaliapara.
Afruzul Haq Tutul, additional superintendent of Cox’s Bazar police, said locals informed them seeing heavy smoke and police rushed there.
The police officials said locals rescued two pilots.
‘The reason behind the crashes could not be known immediately. The search and rescue operation was underway,’ said the ISPR director.
This is the second crash since prime minister Sheikh Hasina inducted the advanced Russian-made jet trainers on December 6, 2015.
On July 11, 2017, another Yakovlev Yak-130 crashed in Chittagong and the two pilots — Wing Commander Nazmul and Squadron Leader Quamrul — parachuted to safety.
Yakovlev Yak-130 is a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light-attack aircraft or lead-in fighter trainer.
Bangladesh procured 16 Yak-130 trainers developed by the Irkut Corporation.
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