Tension prevailed in Irugur village in Coimbatore after a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas from the Air Force Station, Sulur, near here, de-linked and dropped an external fuel tank due to a technical snag during a sortie on Tuesday. Villagers said that a minor explosion took place as the fuel tank fell on agricultural land at Athappa Gounden Pudur near Irugur. No one was injured in the incident.
The incident happened around 8.40 a.m. when a Tejas aircraft of the Air Force station took a trainee sortie in Sulur area. Sources said that a 1,200 liter external fuel drop-tank of the aircraft had a technical snag following which the pilot chose to de-link and drop it in an agricultural land to avert a mid-air mishap. “The aircraft landed safely after the incident. No damage was reported on ground. The cause of the incident is being investigated,” said a defence spokesperson.
People from Irugur thronged the field where it dropped to have a look at the exploded parts of the fuel tank. The staff from Air Force Station, Sulur, police and intelligence personnel inspected the debris of the crashed fuel drop-tank and collected details of the explosion from villagers. The Air Force team removed the debris from the land and shifted them in a truck to Air Force Station, Sulur. Sources added that an Air Force official assured the owner of the agricultural land that due compensation would be paid for the damages caused by the drop-tank crash. Source: The Hindu